Monday, December 29, 2008

Columbia’s Natural Language Processing Technology Licensed to NLP International

Congratulations to our friends at Columbia

New York Columbia University reports that it has licensed MedLEE, a natural language processing technology, to Columbia spin-out, NLP International Corp.

Millions of dictated and typed medical reports require laborious and time-consuming processing by highly trained and expensive experts who manually review and extract the required information. MedLEE reduces the time and expense associated with these processes by automatically extracting and encoding all relevant clinical information. Once coded, the information is easily available and accessible for further clinical processes like billing, reimbursement, quality assurance analytics, data mining, accreditation and others.

“A significant proportion of the [electronic] health care record (EHR) resides in the form of unstructured, natural language text and both the amount of data and the number of records is growing dramatically,” said Bernie Keppler, founder and chief executive of NLP International. “Ready access to this information is critical to save costs and improve the quality and access to health care.”

MedLEE has been successfully tested by large hospital systems and government agencies, including the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital , the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense. Several pharmaceutical companies and healthcare information system vendors are currently evaluating MedLEE for a variety of applications.

“I am excited that this technology will now be more broadly available to hospitals and other health care organizations, where it can continue to contribute to improving patient care,” said Carol Friedman Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University , who developed the technology. “MedLEE has been used in the academic community for many years to develop clinical applications that have been shown to improve the quality of health care.”

“MedLEE is considered by many in the field as the gold standard for unstructured medical text processing, but it has not been available as a commercial, enterprise-ready product,” said Donna See, Director of Strategic Initiatives at STV, which brokered the deal. “We are very pleased to be partnering with NLP International to introduce MedLEE to these markets.”

Robert Sideli, M.D., CIO at Columbia University Medical Center , said the already widespread deployment and use of MedLEE throughout the research and healthcare communities prove the system’s future commercial success. “It will contribute substantially to higher efficiency in the electronic medical record industry due to its superior functionality in medical data extraction, coding, analytics and data mining,” Sideli said.

David Lerner, who oversees new ventures for STV, said Columbia has found the right partner in NLP International. “This venture will add to the many successful technology spin-off ventures for which Columbia University is known,” Lerner said.

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