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Neural Natural Language Processing for Unstructured Data in Electronic Health Records: a Review

by   Irene Li, et al.
Yale University

Electronic health records (EHRs), digital collections of patient healthcare events and observations, are ubiquitous in medicine and critical to healthcare delivery, operations, and research. Despite this central role, EHRs are notoriously difficult to process automatically. Well over half of the information stored within EHRs is in the form of unstructured text (e.g. provider notes, operation reports) and remains largely untapped for secondary use. Recently, however, newer neural network and deep learning approaches to Natural Language Processing (NLP) have made considerable advances, outperforming traditional statistical and rule-based systems on a variety of tasks. In this survey paper, we summarize current neural NLP methods for EHR applications. We focus on a broad scope of tasks, namely, classification and prediction, word embeddings, extraction, generation, and other topics such as question answering, phenotyping, knowledge graphs, medical dialogue, multilinguality, interpretability, etc.


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