Current Projects

An Agile Semantic Web Platform for Knowledge-Centric Decision Support

Synopsis: This research program aims to advance semantic web methods to achieve agile knowledge management in terms of the delivering up-to-date, integrated and consistent knowledge to support knowledge-centric decision-making. The research program is investigating semantic web technologies to develop an agile knowledge management platform that offers: (a) Knowledge versioning mechanisms to incorporate new/updated knowledge to existing knowledge models (i.e. ontologies) to ensure that the modeled knowledge is current and consistent; and (b) Knowledge integration methods to integrate multiple knowledge models (i.e. ontologies) to yield a ‘complete’, contextualized and consistent knowledge model that can be reasoned over to provide decision support. The research methods are directed to the healthcare domain to: (i) dynamically adapt existing clinical guideline knowledge models to incorporate new or updated evidence/procedures as they become available; and (ii) integrate multiple CPG and clinical pathways to handle co-morbid diseases.

Duration: May 2013 – 2018


ADVICE (Agile Decisional Validation and Individualized Care Environment)

Synopsis: This multi-faceted research project is aiming to develop an innovative healthcare knowledge management infrastructure to support knowledge- and data-centric decision support services. ADVICE features four themes: (a) Transformation and translation of clinical guidelines to evidence-informed decision-support for care providers; (b) Engagement and empowerment of patients in their care process; (c) Health data analytics to derive health situational awareness; and (d) health knowledge formalization and mobilization. Semantic web based knowledge modeling and execution is central to the research program where we have developed a range of specialized and executable ontologies to model clinical guidelines, behavior models and clinical workflows that are incorporated within dedicated decision support systems. The project objectives are: (a) To provide effective healthcare knowledge to health professionals where and when they need it to help them make evidence-informed, safe and cost-effective care decisions, and (b) To assist patients through a continuum of personalized, proactive and persistent home-based care services throughout their care journey.

Duration: January 2012 – December 2017


IMPACT-AF (Integrated Management Program Advancing Community Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation)

Synopsis: This research program offers an innovative clinical decision support environment to support both healthcare providers and patients in the management of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) at the primary care level. IMPACT-AF is a knowledge management infra-structure to: (a) computerize the Canadian clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management of AF; (b) offer decision support services to recommend patient-specific, guideline-driven diagnostic and therapeutic interventions; (c) deliver proactive alerts and reminders to flag potential adverse trends in the patient’s evolving condition; and (iii) assist patients to self-manage AF in a home-based setting. The IMPACT-AF will be accessible through mobile devices and web-based applications. IMPACT-AF will be deployed across 200 primary care clinics in Nova Scotia and will be used to study over 4000 patients.

Funding Agency: Bayer Inc.

Duration: January 2013 – December 2017


H-DRIVE (Healthcare Data Retrieval, Inferencing and Visualization Environment)

Synopsis: This project aims to derive actionable intelligence and situational awareness from health data to help improve healthcare services through predictive planning, resource optimization, evidence-based decision-making and personalized medicine.  H-DRIVE is developing a range of big data management and analysis services that will enable end-users to perform complex and contextualized healthcare analytics. The innovation of H-DRIVE is that it will place the power of ‘big’ data healthcare analytics directly in the hands of the end-users to: (i) self-investigate contextualized operational and research questions using their own datasets, (ii) self-generate customized, consumable and clear insights with respect to their current needs, and (iii) self-display and communicate those insights through interactive visualizations. The project is conducting research in the area of semantics and big data, especially investigating semantic data analytics.

Duration: January 2013 – December 2016


D-WISE: An E-health Solution Operationalizing Behaviour Change Models and Clinical Guidelines for Patient-centered Diabetes Self-management

Synopsis: This project is inspired by CIHR’s Strategy for Patient Oriented Research, where it aims to assist patients in modifying their behavior towards healthy lifestyles and adherence to therapeutic programs. This objective is achieved by: (a) assisting family physicians to administer behavior change strategies to their patients with chronic diseases, and (b) empowering patients to modify their behavior through personalized behavior modification programs. D-WISE (Diabetes Web-Centric Information and Support Environment) aims to influence positive behavior change in type-2 diabetic patients by (i) translation of clinical guidelines and behavior change models through web-based clinical decision support tools to assist family physicians and diabetes educators to offer behavior change strategies to diabetes patients; and (b) the engagement of patients to self-manage their diabetes aided by personalized behavior change and disease management strategies that are delivered and monitored via a mobile app.

Funding Agency: CIHR (Catalyst Grant)

Duration: March 2013 – February 2014


TIME (Tools, Information, Motivation, Environment) for health

Synopsis: In this project, we have proposed and implemented a two-level information personalization scheme that integrates both health and behavior determinants to personalize self-management programs for healthy eating. A semantic web based framework computerizes the constructs of social cognition theory to achieve behavior modification through personalized messages that are customized to the individual’s self-compliance challenges and healthy eating targets. A mobile TIME app has been developed that assists families to achieve healthy eating targets by enacting the personalization strategy that deliver timely alerts and reminders to individuals.

Funding Agency: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada & CIHR

Duration: January 2011 – January 2014