Author(s): Surjn G, Szilgyi E, Kovts T
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Abstract There are various public health databases in the world aiming to provide data to compare health conditions in different countries. Their data sets are more or less overlapping but data from different databases and different countries are hard to compare due to different definitions and interpretations. Our aim was to create a core ontological model that is able to represent public health indicators. We assumed, that by such representation comparability and quality of data could be improved. METHOD: Three sets of indicators were taken, and a core ontology was built from information objects describing their top level entities. The Protégé ontology editor with RDF backend was used for building the ontology. The used indicator sets were the indicators of the Health for All Database of the World Health Organisation (HFA), the OECD Health Data, and the set of indicators proposed by the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) European project. Then 19 indicators selected from HFA was represented using the core ontology. Strength and weaknesses of the descriptive capability of the model was studied. RESULT: The drafted core model seems to be useful in representing many of the public health indicators. In some cases it really helps improve comparability. However, some of the semantic details cannot be sufficiently expressed by the used ontology representation language. There is a need of merging other domain ontologies to represent indicators related to other domains, such as economy, social and environmental sciences.
This article was published in Comput Biol Med
and referenced in Journal of Tourism & Hospitality