Linh Tran


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The Medical Scribe: Corpus Development and Model Performance Analyses
Izhak Shafran | Nan Du | Linh Tran | Amanda Perry | Lauren Keyes | Mark Knichel | Ashley Domin | Lei Huang | Yu-hui Chen | Gang Li | Mingqiu Wang | Laurent El Shafey | Hagen Soltau | Justin Stuart Paul
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

There is a growing interest in creating tools to assist in clinical note generation using the audio of provider-patient encounters. Motivated by this goal and with the help of providers and medical scribes, we developed an annotation scheme to extract relevant clinical concepts. We used this annotation scheme to label a corpus of about 6k clinical encounters. This was used to train a state-of-the-art tagging model. We report ontologies, labeling results, model performances, and detailed analyses of the results. Our results show that the entities related to medications can be extracted with a relatively high accuracy of 0.90 F-score, followed by symptoms at 0.72 F-score, and conditions at 0.57 F-score. In our task, we not only identify where the symptoms are mentioned but also map them to canonical forms as they appear in the clinical notes. Of the different types of errors, in about 19-38% of the cases, we find that the model output was correct, and about 17-32% of the errors do not impact the clinical note. Taken together, the models developed in this work are more useful than the F-scores reflect, making it a promising approach for practical applications.


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Learning to Infer Entities, Properties and their Relations from Clinical Conversations
Nan Du | Mingqiu Wang | Linh Tran | Gang Lee | Izhak Shafran
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Recently we proposed the Span Attribute Tagging (SAT) Model to infer clinical entities (e.g., symptoms) and their properties (e.g., duration). It tackles the challenge of large label space and limited training data using a hierarchical two-stage approach that identifies the span of interest in a tagging step and assigns labels to the span in a classification step. We extend the SAT model to jointly infer not only entities and their properties but also relations between them. Most relation extraction models restrict inferring relations between tokens within a few neighboring sentences, mainly to avoid high computational complexity. In contrast, our proposed Relation-SAT (R-SAT) model is computationally efficient and can infer relations over the entire conversation, spanning an average duration of 10 minutes. We evaluate our model on a corpus of clinical conversations. When the entities are given, the R-SAT outperforms baselines in identifying relations between symptoms and their properties by about 32% (0.82 vs 0.62 F-score) and by about 50% (0.60 vs 0.41 F-score) on medications and their properties. On the more difficult task of jointly inferring entities and relations, the R-SAT model achieves a performance of 0.34 and 0.45 for symptoms and medications respectively, which is significantly better than 0.18 and 0.35 for the baseline model. The contributions of different components of the model are quantified using ablation analysis.

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Extracting Symptoms and their Status from Clinical Conversations
Nan Du | Kai Chen | Anjuli Kannan | Linh Tran | Yuhui Chen | Izhak Shafran
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper describes novel models tailored for a new application, that of extracting the symptoms mentioned in clinical conversations along with their status. Lack of any publicly available corpus in this privacy-sensitive domain led us to develop our own corpus, consisting of about 3K conversations annotated by professional medical scribes. We propose two novel deep learning approaches to infer the symptom names and their status: (1) a new hierarchical span-attribute tagging (SA-T) model, trained using curriculum learning, and (2) a variant of sequence-to-sequence model which decodes the symptoms and their status from a few speaker turns within a sliding window over the conversation. This task stems from a realistic application of assisting medical providers in capturing symptoms mentioned by patients from their clinical conversations. To reflect this application, we define multiple metrics. From inter-rater agreement, we find that the task is inherently difficult. We conduct comprehensive evaluations on several contrasting conditions and observe that the performance of the models range from an F-score of 0.5 to 0.8 depending on the condition. Our analysis not only reveals the inherent challenges of the task, but also provides useful directions to improve the models.