Exploring medical literature for COVID-19 research and insights

To help accelerate COVID-19 research, IBM has made available the IBM Watson Insights for Medical Literature COVID-19 Navigator, a cloud and AI semantic search tool to navigate thousands of historical and recent articles.

By | 1 minute read | May 1, 2020

For those fighting COVID-19 — doctors, scientists, researchers, and academics — their most effective tool against the virus is knowledge. Yet, with each passing day, as more information is documented, finding insights quickly becomes a challenge. To help accelerate research, IBM has made available the IBM Watson Insights for Medical Literature COVID-19 Navigator. The cloud-based tool features  AI semantic search capabilities, which helps researchers derive insights from a corpus of thousands of historical and recent data sources related to COVID-19, including peer-reviewed articles, studies, trials and patents, as well as the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19).  

To further speed-up the research process, IBM has pre-enriched the corpus by leveraging the more than 10 million terms in the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS®). This provides researchers with the option to provide additional search operators (such as and/or/not) and semantic relationships (ontological parents/children/siblings) in their search criteria. This means that the results produced are more relevant. 

The COVID-19 Navigator is part of the resources IBM has made available to meet the global challenge of COVID-19, including solutions for resiliency and adaptation, AI tools to answer citizen inquiries, and products with enhanced computing capacity. In the category of accelerating research and discovery, IBM has also made available a set of example Jupyter Notebooks and the IBM Research Deep Search Service, which extracts critical COVID-19 knowledge through knowledge graph backed by thousands of peer-reviewed papers and licensed databases.

Finding information for medical research

In general, reviewing medical literature is a time-consuming process for medical professionals – the rate at which new literature is published can make consuming and processing information difficult for researchers. Beyond the context of COVID-19, Watson Insights for Medical Literature enables healthcare professionals to address this problem by providing a set of APIs that allow them to identify specific areas of interest using medical terminology, so they can more easily find articles across one or more content sources relative to their interests.

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