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Free Natural Language Processing Tool for Clinicians and Researchers
March 28, 2018, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CDT
Alexander Turchin, MD, MS, FACMI, Director of Informatics Research Division of Endocrinology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School. A critical source of information in electronic medical records is “locked” in narrative documents, such as provider notes, radiology reports, etc. Natural language processing (NLP) technology can be used to extract information from narrative documents; however, it remains underutilized, because in many cases NLP solutions require advanced computer science expertise and/or expensive commercial software. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have developed Canary (http://canary.bwh.harvard.edu), a free / open-source solution designed to solve this problem. Canary is a GUI-based platform that allows clinicians, researchers and analysts without computer science or software engineering background to develop their own NLP solutions. Canary has been downloaded in dozens of institutions around the world and has been successfully used in a number of projects. Dr. Turchin describes Canary and illustrates how it can be used to effectively retrieve and utilize information from narrative documents in EMRs to enhance patient care.