OpenClinical.net: A Platform for Creating and Sharing Professional Knowledge and Promoting Best Practice
About this video
Medical knowledge is growing so rapidly that it is difficult or impossible for healthcare professionals to keep up but the internet is providing powerful new ways of disseminating knowledge in healthcare as in many other domains. Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge engineering techniques are providing many tools to help clinicians and other professionals to ensure that their decisions are consistent with current knowledge and clinical procedures are carried out in a timely, efficient and safe way.
The OpenClinical.net project is building on these ideas to demonstrate a new paradigm for disseminating knowledge and promoting best practice. The key idea is that much professional expertise can be modeled as computer-interpretable models of practice and used to assist decision-making, process management, communication and coordination and many other professional tasks.
The central goal of OpenClinical.net is to demonstrate how this might be done at scale, through a form of ‘‘crowd sourcing’’, and maintained in a shared knowledge base in an open access and open source repository. The talk will give an overview of the project and a summary of progress to date and invite discussion of ethical issues and problems of governance. The focus will be healthcare but the OpenClinical.net model does not appear to be limited to medicine and inputs from other research and professional perspectives are also of great interest.
About the speaker
John Fox, PhD. is Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford University. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with wide interests, ranging from computer science and AI to cognitive science and medical informatics. He originally trained as a cognitive psychologist at Durham and Cambridge Universities, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Carnegie-Mellon and Cornell Universities in the USA. After returning to the UK he was an MRC research fellow at Sheffield University until he joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) where he established the Advanced Computation Lab at CRUK’s Lincoln’s Inn Fields Laboratories in London. The ACL made significant theoretical contributions in decision science and cognitive systems theory, and a key practical outcome was the PROforma process specification language. PROforma has provided a versatile and sound foundation for a number of novel technologies and many clinical applications. He has published widely (see his papers on Researchgate.org) and was founding editor of The Knowledge Engineering Review (Cambridge University Press). In order to take his group’s research into practical clinical use he has unexpectedly become a serial entrepreneur in several specialist companies, including InferMed Ltd a CRUK startup, and most recently Deontics Ltd. a spinout from Oxford University, UCL and CRUK. His current passion is OpenClinical.net which is creating an open access, open source knowledge base for healthcare, using AI and knowledge engineering techniques to capture and share knowledge of best practice to support quality and safety in patient care.