Design of generalized search interfaces for health informatics

Using computer-based resources to find and retrieve healthcare information is increasingly common, whether it’s the healthcare professional or a patient. But “search can be challenging, particularly for health informatics tasks that utilize large and complex document sets,” notes Demelo and Sedig in their 2021 paper published in Information. This led the authors to examine the current state of healthcare informatics and develop an ontology-based search interface called ONTSI. Based on insights from previously published research on health informatics information retrieval, the authors discuss the criteria, design elements, and strategies they used to develop ONTSI. After explaining the results of their work, via a use case, the authors conclude that their tool “ONTSI supplies a generalized interface that supports users’ ability to plug-and-play their provided document sets and an ontology file as a mediating resource within the interface when performing their health informatics search tasks.”

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