Checkout "mind maps" slide 13-15, 27 for#CDISC SHARE http://ow.ly/dHfy5 < Then have a look at http://code.google.com/p/ogms/
The CDISC slide deck she refers to does indeed contain interesting representations of, for example, deep brain simulation as a treatment of Parkinson's Disease (slide 14):
[the b]asic building block is a “concept” which is a piece of clinical information. Examples include:
–systolic blood pressure observation
–systolic blood pressure result
–sodium concentration in plasma observation
–subject's birth weight result
Each of these concepts has component parts (including what we would conventionally call variables)
Questions such as this were addressed (and I had optimistically assumed) put to rest already in 2006. The answer to such questions is that there is no coherent interpretation of the edges in a graph of the sort displayed if the graph is taken to be about relations between concepts. The Ontology for General Medical Science (OGMS) shows, I believe, how to create and interpret such graphs in a coherent fashion -- paying careful attention to the distinction between portions of reality on the side of the patient -- for example actions of treating, brains, neurostimulators -- and the types of which these portions of reality are instances.
OGMS is built on the basis of the assumption that each term and each relation used in the graph representation of a clinical encounter needs to be defined in a logical way. Only thus can the information contained in the graph serve computational inference. It is sad that, after so many years, important groups investing considerable efforts in healthcare informatics have still not apprehended the need for such definitions.
Update: October 18, 2012
XML4Pharma submitted the following query:
Not being a specialist in ontologies, I need some more explanation.
Do you mean that for each node, the edges (predicates I presume in the RDF context) cannot be defined in a unique way, i.e. there is an infinite number of possibilities for each edge to be named? E.g.
1. What one person defines as "is part of" can be defined by another as "is component of". Is that the problem?
2. Or should there for each pair of nodes be only a distinct set of predicates available?
3. Or do you mean that to assign a name to an edge, some systematic rules must be followed?