Inferring recommendation interactions in clinical guidelines

Veruska Carretta Zamborlini, Rinke Hoekstra, Marcos Da Silveira, Cedric Pruski, A.C.M. ten Teije, F.A.H. van Harmelen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The formal representation of clinical knowledge is still an open research topic. Classical representation languages for clinical guidelines are used to produce diagnostic and treatment plans. However, they have important limitations, e.g. when looking for ways to re-use, combine, and reason over existing clinical knowledge. These limitations are especially problematic in the context of multimorbidity; patients that suffer from multiple diseases. To overcome these limitations, this paper proposes a model for clinical guidelines (TMR4I) that allows the re-use and combination of knowledge from multiple guidelines. Semantic Web technology is applied to implement the model, allowing us to automatically infer interactions between recommendations, such as recommending the same drug more than once. It relies on an existing Linked Data set, DrugBank, for identifying drug-drug interactions. We evaluate the model by applying it to two realistic case studies on multimorbidity that combine guidelines for two (Duodenal Ulcer and Transient Ischemic Attack) and three diseases (Osteoarthritis, Hypertension and Diabetes) and compare the results with existing methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-446
Number of pages26
JournalSemantic Web
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Clinical knowledge representation
  • OWL
  • SWRL
  • combining medical guidelines
  • multimorbidity
  • reasoning
  • rules


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