Design and Development of a Multimodal Biomedical Information Retrieval System

Demner-Fushman D, Antani SK, Simpson M, Thoma GR
JCSE. June 2012;6(2):168-177.


The search for relevant and actionable information is a key to achieving clinical and research goals in biomedicine. Biomedical information exists in different forms: as text and illustrations in journal articles and other documents, in images stored in databases, and as patients’ cases in electronic health records. This paper presents ways to move beyond conventional text-based searching of these resources, by combining text and visual features in search queries and document representation. A combination of techniques and tools from the fields of natural language processing, information retrieval, and content-based image retrieval allows the development of building blocks for advanced information services. Such services enable searching by textual as well as visual queries, and retrieving documents enriched by relevant images, charts, and other illustrations from the journal literature, patient records and image databases.