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ICPC Multilingual Collaboratory: A Web-and Unicode-Based System for Distributed Editing/Translating/Viewing of the Multilingual International Classification of Primary Care.
The International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC) is a clinical classification containing 726 clinical concepts, available in over 20 languages, augmented by links to ICD-10 concepts. It is employed in clinical information systems in several European countries, Israel, Japan, and Australia. In translating ICPC, it has been challenging to manage the flow of multilingual information, maintain its quality, and optimize its portability, particularly in light of the numerous character encodings used to represent its content. The ICPC Multilingual Collaboratory (IMC) is a World Wide Web-based environment, created to allow the viewing, maintenance, and translation of ICPC content by a dispersed international editorial staff. Based upon open source software, it represents ICPC content using the Unicode standard for character encoding. The system implements three interfaces to ICPC data: 1) a password-protected editorial interface which instantiates a hierarchical authority model and communication channels for review and control of content, including a means of uploading new candidate translations; 2) an openly accessible read-only interface, with email access to the editors (providing another level of content review); and, 3) a management interface for the system administrator. The completed system powerfully demonstrates the ability of the World Wide Web, open-source software, and Unicode to expedite and simplify international multilingual collaboration, even in a world in which Unicode support is incomplete on existing computing platforms.