Title: The Semantic Web and healthcare consumers: a new challenge and opportunity on the horizon?

Authors: Gunther Eysenbach

Addresses: Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto and Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto General Hospital, 190 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada

Abstract: The ||Semantic Web|| can be thought of an extension of the present web, as an additional machine-processable layer of data beneath the visible layer of human-readable information. In the first part of this paper, I will briefly review the building blocks of the Semantic Web, such as metadata expressed in the format of the Resource Description Framework (RDF). In the second part, I will provide some examples and review the prospects of the Semantic Web for the field of knowledge management and knowledge translation in consumer health informatics; for example, supporting decisions to be made by consumers, for improving access to information, and for addressing questions around the quality of health information on the web. Perhaps the most significant application of the Semantic Web for the health field is trust management, i.e. helping consumers to identify high quality trustworthy health resources on the web.

Keywords: consumer health informatics; health information; information quality; knowledge management; quality assurance; semantic web; World Wide Web.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2003.004165

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2003 Vol.5 No.3/4/5, pp.194 - 212

Available online: 31 Mar 2004 *

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