A Lexical Simplification Tool for Promoting Health Literacy

This paper presents MedSimples, an authoring tool that combines Natural Language Processing, Corpus Linguistics and Terminology to help writers to convert health-related information into a more accessible version for people with low literacy skills. MedSimples applies parsing methods associated with lexical resources to automatically evaluate a text and present simplification suggestions that are more suitable for the target audience. Using the suggestions provided by the tool, the author can adapt the original text and make it more accessible. The focus of MedSimples lies on texts for special purposes, so that it not only deals with general vocabulary, but also with specialized terms. The tool is currently under development, but an online working prototype exists and can be tested freely. An assessment of MedSimples was carried out aiming at evaluating its current performance with some promising results, especially for informing the future developments that are planned for the tool.

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