The project was requested by Polish Society of Surgical Oncology (PTChO) and is in production since the beginning of 2016. The goal was to build a central registry for collecting patient’s clinical data from oncological institutions in Poland. The program is a web application in which oncologists all around Poland can add and/or edit patient’s using forms. One of the main system requirement was the possibility to easily edit/expand existing modules or adding new ones. We decided that semantic technologies, precisely Automatic Reasoning Based User Interface (ARBUI) approach, perfectly matches this project requirements. In this approach the ontology is used for generating the forms, transitions and the pages. Collected data being in standard form, can be easily used by the analysts from PTChO to make research on the treatment effectiveness.
Main advantages of our solution are:
Expandability - adding new modules e.g. for other types of cancer is just a matter of writing the proper ontology.
Requirements traceability - by using ontology in Ontorion Controlled Natural Language(OCNL) format we are in the same time defining and documenting every single field behaviour, in human readable format.
Ease of internationalization - all texts inside the form like title, field question or answers are taken from the ontology OWL annotations. Thanks to this, adding a new language support can be done by extending the ontology with proper language set of annotations.
Real time reasoning - we are using SWRL rules in order to decide the flow within a module like also between forms. Thanks to this feature we are showing end user, only the fields that he/she really need to fill, depending on the answers from previous fields/forms.
Ease of application maintenance - it happens that forms requirements are getting outdated or just changes - this kind of requests can be fixed just by editing/adding rules to the ontology.
Domain independence - as in ARBUI approach, forms are generated only on base of the ontology, we are able to create similar registry for any other domain - again it’s a matter of proper ontology.