Modularising ontology and designing inference patterns to personalise health condition assessment: the case of obesity

Aleksandra Sojic, Walter Terkaj, Giorgia Contini, Marco Sacco
2016 Journal of Biomedical Semantics  
The public health initiatives for obesity prevention are increasingly exploiting the advantages of smart technologies that can register various kinds of data related to physical, physiological, and behavioural conditions. Since individual features and habits vary among people, the design of appropriate intervention strategies for motivating changes in behavioural patterns towards a healthy lifestyle requires the interpretation and integration of collected information, while considering
more » ... l profiles in a personalised manner. The ontology-based modelling is recognised as a promising approach in facing the interoperability and integration of heterogeneous information related to characterisation of personal profiles. Results: The presented ontology captures individual profiles across several obesity-related knowledge-domains structured into dedicated modules in order to support inference about health condition, physical features, behavioural habits associated with a person, and relevant changes over time. The modularisation strategy is designed to facilitate ontology development, maintenance, and reuse. The domain-specific modules formalised in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) integrate the domain-specific sets of rules formalised in the Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL). The inference rules follow a modelling pattern designed to support personalised assessment of health condition as age-and gender-specific. The test cases exemplify a personalised assessment of the obesity-related health conditions for the population of teenagers. Conclusion: The paper addresses several issues concerning the modelling of normative concepts related to obesity and depicts how the public health concern impacts classification of teenagers according to their phenotypes. The modelling choices regarding the ontology-structure are explained in the context of the modelling goal to integrate multiple knowledge-domains and support reasoning about the individual changes over time. The presented modularisation pattern enhances reusability of the domain-specific modules across various health care domains.
doi:10.1186/s13326-016-0049-1 pmid:29764473 pmcid:PMC5143447 fatcat:srfafeqd6nedro3eseeij5jeu4