Ontology and the future of dental research informatics

Friday, October 22, 2010
Smith B, Goldberg LJ, Ruttenberg A, Glick M
J Am Dent Assoc. 2010: 141 (10):1173-5
How do we find what is clinically significant in the swarms of data being generated by today’s diagnostic technologies? As electronic records become ever more prevalent—and digital imaging and genomic, proteomic, salivaomics, metabalomics, pharmacogenomics, phenomics and transcriptomics techniques become commonplace— different clinical and biological disciplines are facing up to the need to put their data houses in order to avoid the consequences of an uncontrolled explosion of different ways of describing information. Fortunately, a new strategy to advance the consistency of data in the dental research community is emerging. The strategy is based on the idea that existing systems for data collection in dental research will continue to be used, but proposes a methodology in which past, present and future data will be described using a consensus-based controlled structured vocabulary called the Ontology for Dental Research (ODR).