Feasibility of a Natural Language Processing-based Dental Charting Application

Feasibility of a Natural Language Processing-based Dental Charting Application (2007 -2010)

The absence of a flexible, robust, and accurate natural language interface is a significant barrier to the direct use of computer-based patient records by dental clinicians. While providing patient care, dentists, hygienists and assistants are handicapped in using a keyboard and mouse to interact with a computer, primarily because of infection control concerns. The objective of this proposal is to develop and evaluate a prototype dental charting system with a speech-driven interface that will allow the dentist to chart dental conditions using natural language. The system will use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract the key concepts associated with 16 dental conditions from transcribed dental examinations. These concepts, coded using the standardized terminologies, would provide a structured summary of a patient's initial dental exam.

The proposal has two aims:

    Aim 1: Evaluate the accuracy of speech recognition technology for clinical dental examinations
    Aim 2: Develop and evaluate an NLP application for mapping transcribed text to a structured dental chart.

Selected Publications, Posters, and Presentations

  • Christensen L, Harkema H, Haug PJ, Irwin JY, Chapman WW.ONYX: A System for the Semantic Analysis of Clinical Text. Proceedings of the Workshop on BioNLP, pages 19–27, Boulder, Colorado, June 2009.
  • Irwin JY, Harkema H, Christensen LM, Schleyer T, Haug PJ, Chapman WW. Methodology to develop and evaluate a semantic representation for NLP. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2009 ;2009:271-5.
  • Mowery DL, Clayton M, Lu J, Schleyer T. Software Review: Tooth Atlas 3D, version 6.3.0. Journal of Dental Education. November 2010: 74(11). 1261-1264.
  • Mowery D, Schleyer T, Harkema H, Chapman WW. Developing a discourse model for charting dictated dental exams. American Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting 2011. San Diego, CA. 2011.
  • Mowery D, Schleyer T, Chapman WW. Distinguishing existing findings from planned treatments in dictated dental exams. American Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. March 2010.
  • PI: 
    Wendy Chapman