I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to computer/statistical techniques for helping in the Q&A service. Many papers, such as highlighted below, look at answering the question; my main interested – currently – is in using sematic analysis in updating clinical questions.

Situated Question Answering in the Clinical Domain: Selecting the Best Drug Treatment for Diseases

Abstract: Unlike open-domain factoid questions, clinical information needs arise within the rich context of patient treatment. This environment establishes a number of constraints on the design of systems aimed at physicians in real-world settings. In this paper, we describe a clinical question answering system that focuses on a class of commonly-occurring questions: “What is the best drug treatment for X?”, here X can be any disease. To evaluate our system, we built a test collection consisting of thirty randomly-selected diseases from an existing secondary source. Both an automatic and a manual evaluation demonstrate that our system compares favorably to PubMed, the search system most commonly-used by physicians today.

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