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Medical assertion classification in Chinese EMRs using attention enhanced neural network

Zhichang Zhang Yu Zhang Tong Zhou Yali Pang

*Corresponding author: Zhichang Zhang zzc@nwnu.edu.cn


Electronic medical records (EMRs), such as hospital discharge summaries, contain a wealth of information only expressed in natural language. Automated methods for extracting information from these records must be able to recognize medical concepts in text and their semantic context. A contextual property critical to reason on information from EMRs is the doctor's belief status or assertion of the patient's medical problem. Research on the medical assertion classification (MAC) can establish the foundation for various health data analyses and clinical applications. However, previous MAC studies are mainly based on traditional machine learning methods which mostly require manually constructed features and the original unlabeled data cannot be easily and effectively applied to classification or classification tasks. Furthermore, external medical knowledge such as various medical dictionary bases, which provides rich explain and definition information about medical entity, is rarely utilized in existing neural network models of medical information extraction. In this study, we propose a deep neural network architecture enhanced by medical knowledge attention layer through combining GRU neural network with CNN model to classify the assertion type of medical problem such as disease and symptom in Chinese EMRs. The attention layer in the model is applied to integrate entity representations learned from medical dictionary bases as query for encoding. Experimental results on own manually annotated corpus indicate our approach achieves better performance compared to existing methods.

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