The biomedical area has seen an explosive growth in data in the last decade from electronic health records, procedures, imaging, lab tests, genomics, and sensors. More recently the emergence of consumer health devices and the improved understanding of the microbiome has contributed greatly to this growth. While Big Data approaches have been useful to tackle the volume and velocity aspects, variability aka the 'small data’ issue is especially challenging in the healthcare and life sciences areas. Ontologies provide the means to tackle this variability challenge with the ability to represent the meaning of the data formally in a computable manner. In addition, a large part of healthcare data is unstructured data. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and data mining techniques are being used for information extraction into a more structured form, a process wherein ontologies provide the knowledge models and the lexicon to extract the information meaningfully.
A large number of biomedical ontologies are now available, and ontology frameworks and ecosystems have also emerged to facilitate interoperability among the models. The 5th International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO) aims to bring together application of ontologies as well as foundational issues in biomedical ontologies. The theme of ICBO 2014 is Ontologies driving Innovation - the main emphasis will be on the applied aspects of ontologies and demonstration of innovative ontology-driven solutions for all areas of healthcare and life sciences.
With support from: