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Communications Engineering Branch

The Communications Engineering Branch (CEB) is part of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an intramural R&D division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Our mission is to conduct research and development directed toward mission-critical tasks at NLM and NIH, such as cancer research, document delivery, digital preservation, and automated ways of building resources such as MEDLINE.® All software products developed by our researchers are freely available.

Projects

  • Multiple projects in this area continue to promote the development, enhancement, and adoption of clinical vocabulary standards. Inter-terminology mapping promotes the use of standard terminologies by creating maps to administrative terminologies, which allows re-use of encoded clinical data.

  • chest x-ray image

    We are collaborating with AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare), an organization supported by USAID that runs the largest AIDS treatment program in the world. This project uses LHNCBC’s imaging research and system development to fulfill NIH global health policy objectives. Our objective is to leverage in-house expertise in image processing to screen HIV-positive patients in rural Kenya for evidence of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in chest x-rays.

  • The Digital Preservation Research (DPR) project addresses an important mandate for libraries and archives: to retain electronic files for posterity as well as to retrieve information from preserved documents through semantic search.

  • Discoveries from Clinical Data small image waveform

    Large database collections of clinical data -- from longitudinal research projects, electronic medical records, and health information exchanges -- provide opportunities to examine controversial findings from smaller scale clinical studies and to conduct retrospective epidemiological studies in areas that lack clinical trials.

  • Screenshot of the Boundary Marking Tool created for cancer research.

    The goal of our work in Biomedical Imaging is two-fold: One, to develop advanced imaging tools for biomedical research in partnership with the National Cancer Institute and other organizations. Secondly, to conduct research in Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) to index and retrieve medical images by image features (e.g., shape, color and texture), augmented by textual features as well.

  • This system automatically augments a patient's Electronic Health Record (EHR) with pertinent information from NLM resources. The software runs as background agents, both at a hospital and at NLM. The hospital uses our APIs to integrate the search setup and to display and store results in their existing EHR system.

  • Interactive Publications are scientific multimedia documents that give readers more information from an article than is available in the published form (electronic or print) by enabling interaction with the included media (tables, graphs, images, videos, biomedical image studies, etc.)

  • The Medical Article Records System (MARS) project develops automated systems to extract bibliographic text from journal articles, in both paper as well as electronic forms.

  • OpenI logo

    Open-i (pronounced “open eye”) is the LHNCBC experimental multimedia search engine that retrieves and displays structured MEDLINE citations augmented by image-related text and concepts and linked to images based on image features.

  • The People Locator (PL) is a Web system that enables family, friends and neighbors to locate or report missing people during a disaster event. It utilizes a "Disaster Patient Data Exchange" database containing data from the IT systems of local hospitals and additional  input is expected from triage area cell phones and social networks.

  • Turning The Pages is a computer system with touchscreen that allows users to touch and turn the pages of virtual books in an intuitive manner. Initially created by the British Library for use on a touchscreen monitor, the LHNCBC has significantly refined the original technology to simulate the act of easily flipping through virtual books.