Apple wants its devices to be able to generate a personalized health care ontology

FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram and a flowchart showing an example process for generating a curated health ontology and using portions of the curated health ontology.

Apple has been granted a patent (number US 11636931 B2) for “generation of personal health care ontologies.”

Ontology, in the field of medicine, describes the concepts of medical terminologies and the relation between them, thus, enabling the sharing of medical knowledge. Ontology-based analyses are associated with a risk that errors in modeling may deteriorate the results’ quality.

About the patent

In the patent Apple notes that users typically visit more than one health institution (e.g., medical providers) to obtain medical treatment. For example, a user may periodically visit a neighborhood clinic for annual physical evaluations and for minor medical procedures. 

The neighborhood clinic may maintain an instance of the user’s electronic health record (EHR) (e.g., a computer-stored and transferrable copy of a user’s physical health record) using an EHR system, sometimes referred to as an electronic medical record (EMR) system. When the user visits the neighborhood clinic, a medical professional may update the electronic health record (e.g., record vital signs, identify prescriptions, order and record lab results, identify a diagnosis, etc.). However, Apple notes that other instances of the user’s electronic health record may be maintained by other health institutions that are unaffiliated with the neighborhood clinic. These other health institutions may use different versions of the same EHR system or may even use completely different EHR systems (e.g., developed by different companies). 

This means that instances of the user’s electronic health record may be distributed among multiple health institutions. And, depending on which type and version of EHR systems used by the health institutions as well as provider preferences for recording health record data, health record data within each instance may be formatted, coded, and/or stored differently. Apple wants to alleviate this problem. 

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A computer system may generate a curated health ontology. The curated health ontology may be used by a requesting system. The curated health ontology generated from on a set of standard health codes combined with augmentation information, which supplements and/or otherwise changes the standard health codes. Once generated, the curated health ontology may be transmitted to the requesting system.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.