Free Snomed CT browser launched

The Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) has released Minnow, a free browser for both SNOMED CT AU and the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT).

CSIRO Principal Research Scientist, Dr Michael Lawley, said that the browser is designed to provide a simple and intuitive means to explore both SNOMED CT and the Australian Medicines Terminology.

“Minnow offers many of the interactive features which people have come to expect in software tools, such as a dynamic graphical view of the SNOMED CT hierarchy and drag and drop functionality. The tool also supports the new diagramming standard for SNOMED CT content, which illustrates how a concept is defined in terms of other concepts. For example, for fracture of femur it displays the relationships to the morphology of fracture and the finding site of bone structure of femur.”

SNOMED CT is designed for recording clinical information about patients in a fully machine processable way, assisting to advance clinical decision support and aid interoperability of clinical information systems. This differs from other coding systems, such as ICD, which primarily aim to capture information for mortality and morbidity reporting.

“NEHTA are now releasing SNOMED CT-based termsets, such as the Emergency Department Reference Set, which will be used in clinical information systems. Minnow highlights SNOMED CT concepts which are part of these specialist Reference Sets,” said Dr Lawley.

Minnow is based on a subset of the components that were developed and refined for Snapper, another tool developed by AEHRC. Snapper is being used to assist migration from other terminologies to SNOMED CT by building semantic mappings between these existing terms and corresponding SNOMED CT concepts.

“Migrating existing patient data to be recorded using SNOMED CT is vital to improve our ability to use existing knowledge, such as that about drug contra-indications, to improve the safety and quality of our heathcare system,” Dr Lawley said.

The Minnow browser is available for download from

Posted in Australian eHealth

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