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Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295329


While we pay attention to the latest advances in clinical natural language processing (NLP), we can notice some resistance in the clinical and translational research community to adopt NLP models due to limited transparency, Interpretability and usability. Built upon our previous work, in this study, we proposed an open natural language processing development framework and evaluated it through the implementation of NLP algorithms for the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). Based on the interests in information extraction from COVID-19 related clinical notes, our work includes 1) an open data annotation process using COVID-19 signs and symptoms as the use case, 2) a community-driven ruleset composing platform, and 3) a synthetic text data generation workflow to generate texts for information extraction tasks without involving human subjects. The generated corpora derived out of the texts from multiple intuitions and gold standard annotation are tested on a single institution's rule set has the performances in F1 score of 0.876, 0.706 and 0.694, respectively. The study as a consortium effort of the N3C NLP subgroup demonstrates the feasibility of creating a federated NLP algorithm development and benchmarking platform to enhance multi-institution clinical NLP study.

EBioMedicine ; 74: 103722, 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536517


BACKGROUND: Numerous publications describe the clinical manifestations of post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC or "long COVID"), but they are difficult to integrate because of heterogeneous methods and the lack of a standard for denoting the many phenotypic manifestations. Patient-led studies are of particular importance for understanding the natural history of COVID-19, but integration is hampered because they often use different terms to describe the same symptom or condition. This significant disparity in patient versus clinical characterization motivated the proposed ontological approach to specifying manifestations, which will improve capture and integration of future long COVID studies. METHODS: The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) is a widely used standard for exchange and analysis of phenotypic abnormalities in human disease but has not yet been applied to the analysis of COVID-19. FINDINGS: We identified 303 articles published before April 29, 2021, curated 59 relevant manuscripts that described clinical manifestations in 81 cohorts three weeks or more following acute COVID-19, and mapped 287 unique clinical findings to HPO terms. We present layperson synonyms and definitions that can be used to link patient self-report questionnaires to standard medical terminology. Long COVID clinical manifestations are not assessed consistently across studies, and most manifestations have been reported with a wide range of synonyms by different authors. Across at least 10 cohorts, authors reported 31 unique clinical features corresponding to HPO terms; the most commonly reported feature was Fatigue (median 45.1%) and the least commonly reported was Nausea (median 3.9%), but the reported percentages varied widely between studies. INTERPRETATION: Translating long COVID manifestations into computable HPO terms will improve analysis, data capture, and classification of long COVID patients. If researchers, clinicians, and patients share a common language, then studies can be compared/pooled more effectively. Furthermore, mapping lay terminology to HPO will help patients assist clinicians and researchers in creating phenotypic characterizations that are computationally accessible, thereby improving the stratification, diagnosis, and treatment of long COVID. FUNDING: U24TR002306; UL1TR001439; P30AG024832; GBMF4552; R01HG010067; UL1TR002535; K23HL128909; UL1TR002389; K99GM145411 .

J Biomed Inform ; 113: 103660, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972883


Coronavirus Disease 2019 has emerged as a significant global concern, triggering harsh public health restrictions in a successful bid to curb its exponential growth. As discussion shifts towards relaxation of these restrictions, there is significant concern of second-wave resurgence. The key to managing these outbreaks is early detection and intervention, and yet there is a significant lag time associated with usage of laboratory confirmed cases for surveillance purposes. To address this, syndromic surveillance can be considered to provide a timelier alternative for first-line screening. Existing syndromic surveillance solutions are however typically focused around a known disease and have limited capability to distinguish between outbreaks of individual diseases sharing similar syndromes. This poses a challenge for surveillance of COVID-19 as its active periods tend to overlap temporally with other influenza-like illnesses. In this study we explore performing sentinel syndromic surveillance for COVID-19 and other influenza-like illnesses using a deep learning-based approach. Our methods are based on aberration detection utilizing autoencoders that leverages symptom prevalence distributions to distinguish outbreaks of two ongoing diseases that share similar syndromes, even if they occur concurrently. We first demonstrate that this approach works for detection of outbreaks of influenza, which has known temporal boundaries. We then demonstrate that the autoencoder can be trained to not alert on known and well-managed influenza-like illnesses such as the common cold and influenza. Finally, we applied our approach to 2019-2020 data in the context of a COVID-19 syndromic surveillance task to demonstrate how implementation of such a system could have provided early warning of an outbreak of a novel influenza-like illness that did not match the symptom prevalence profile of influenza and other known influenza-like illnesses.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , COVID-19/virology , Deep Learning , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification