The Longitudinal Study of Astronaut Health (LSAH) Participant Summary software captures data based on a custom information model designed to gather all relevant, discrete medical events for its study participants. This software provides a summarized view of the study participant’s entire medical record. The manual collapsing of all the data in a participant’s medical record into a summarized form eliminates redundancy, and allows for the capture of entire medical events. The coding tool could be incorporated into commercial electronic medical record software for use in areas like public health surveillance, hospital systems, clinics, and medical research programs.

The software also enables structured coding that enforces a custom set of rules, as well as captures the context of the coded term. The terminology used is SNOMED CT, which is a massive terminology consisting of over 366,000 concepts with unique meanings and formal, logic-based definitions that are organized into 18 hierarchies. In addition, it contains more than 993,000 descriptions or synonyms for flexibility in expressing clinical concepts. SNOMED CT is also a compositional terminology, so multiple concepts can be grouped together to create an expression that has a totally different logical definition. By using some custom composition rules along with the context within the Participant Summary, a user can greatly reduce the number of candidate concepts, which not only improves productivity, it ensures that only legal SNOMED expressions can be created.

LSAH defines the line between the terminology and the information model. It takes a middle road between putting all the structure in a complex coded term and putting all the structure in numerous database fields.

This work was done by Kathy Johnson-Throop of Johnson Space Center; Ralph Krog of National Space Biomedical Research Institute; Deborah Eudy and Diane Parisian of EASI; Seth Rodriguez and John Rogers of Barrios Technology; and Mary Wear, Robert Volpe, and Gina Trevino of Wyle Laboratories. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at under the Software category. MSC-24172-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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