Using Semantic Web technologies for Clinical Trial Recruitment

Clinical trials are fundamental for medical science: they provide the evaluation for new treatments and new diagnostic approaches. One of the most difficult parts of clinical trials is the recruitment of patients: many trials fail due to lack of participants. Recruitment is done by matching the eligibility criteria of trials to patient conditions. This is usually done manually, but both the large number of active trials and the lack of time available for matching keep the recruitment ratio low. In this paper we present a method, entirely based on standard semantic web technologies and tool, that allows the automatic recruitment of a patient to the available clinical trials. We use a domain specific ontology to represent data from patients' health records and we use SWRL to verify the eligibility of patients to clinical trials.