Toward a standard ontology of surgical process models

Our most recent article appeared in IJCARS, reporting on the OntoSPM group's efforst to advance Surgical Data Science: 
Purpose:  The development of common ontologies has recently been identified as one of the key challenges in the emerging field of surgical data science (SDS). However, past and existing initiatives in the domain of surgery have mainly been focussing on individual groups and failed to achieve widespread international acceptance by the research community. To address this challenge, the authors of this paper launched a European initiative—OntoSPM Collaborative Action—with the goal of establishing a framework for joint development of ontologies in the field of SDS. This manuscript summarizes the goals and the current status of the international initiative. 
Methods:  A workshop was organized in 2016, gathering the main European research groups having experience in developing and using ontologies in this domain. It led to the conclusion that a common ontology for surgical process models (SPM) was absolutely needed, and that the existing OntoSPM ontology could provide a good starting point toward the collaborative design and promotion of common, standard ontologies on SPM. 
Results:  The workshop led to the OntoSPM Collaborative Action—launched in mid-2016—with the objective to develop, maintain and promote the use of common ontologies of SPM relevant to the whole domain of SDS. The fundamental concept, the architecture, the management and curation of the common ontology have been established, making it ready for wider public use. 
Conclusion:  The OntoSPM Collaborative Action has been in operation for 24 months, with a growing dedicated membership. Its main result is a modular ontology, undergoing constant updates and extensions, based on the experts’ suggestions. It remains an open collaborative action, which always welcomes new contributors and applications.

Source: Gibaud et al, Toward a standard ontology of surgical process models, 2018


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