Improving Clinical Document Understanding on COVID-19 Research with Spark NLP

7 Dec 2020  ·  Veysel Kocaman, David Talby ·

Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, the number of scientific papers studying the virus has grown massively, leading to increased interest in automated literate review. We present a clinical text mining system that improves on previous efforts in three ways. First, it can recognize over 100 different entity types including social determinants of health, anatomy, risk factors, and adverse events in addition to other commonly used clinical and biomedical entities. Second, the text processing pipeline includes assertion status detection, to distinguish between clinical facts that are present, absent, conditional, or about someone other than the patient. Third, the deep learning models used are more accurate than previously available, leveraging an integrated pipeline of state-of-the-art pretrained named entity recognition models, and improving on the previous best performing benchmarks for assertion status detection. We illustrate extracting trends and insights, e.g. most frequent disorders and symptoms, and most common vital signs and EKG findings, from the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). The system is built using the Spark NLP library which natively supports scaling to use distributed clusters, leveraging GPUs, configurable and reusable NLP pipelines, healthcare specific embeddings, and the ability to train models to support new entity types or human languages with no code changes.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Clinical Assertion Status Detection 2010 i2b2/VA BiLSTM (SparkNLP) Micro F1 0.939 # 1