Community question answering forums provide a convenient platform for people to source answers to their questions including those related to healthcare from the general public. The answers to user queries are generally long and contain multiple different perspectives, redundancy or irrelevant answers. This presents a novel challenge for domain-specific concise and correct multi-answer summarization which we propose in this paper.
Finding the polarity of feelings in texts is a far-reaching task. Whilst the field of natural language processing has established sentiment analysis as an alluring problem, many feelings are left uncharted. In this study, we analyze the optimism and pessimism concepts from Twitter posts to effectively understand the broader dimension of psychological phenomenon. Towards this, we carried a systematic study by first exploring the linguistic peculiarities of optimism and pessimism in user-generated content. Later, we devised a multi-task knowledge distillation framework to simultaneously learn the target task of optimism detection with the help of the auxiliary task of sentiment analysis and hate speech detection. We evaluated the performance of our proposed approach on the benchmark Optimism/Pessimism Twitter dataset. Our extensive experiments show the superior- ity of our approach in correctly differentiating between optimistic and pessimistic users. Our human and automatic evaluation shows that sentiment analysis and hate speech detection are beneficial for optimism/pessimism detection.
Health coaching helps patients identify and accomplish lifestyle-related goals, effectively improving the control of chronic diseases and mitigating mental health conditions. However, health coaching is cost-prohibitive due to its highly personalized and labor-intensive nature. In this paper, we propose to build a dialogue system that converses with the patients, helps them create and accomplish specific goals, and can address their emotions with empathy. However, building such a system is challenging since real-world health coaching datasets are limited and empathy is subtle. Thus, we propose a modularized health coaching dialogue with simplified NLU and NLG frameworks combined with mechanism-conditioned empathetic response generation. Through automatic and human evaluation, we show that our system generates more empathetic, fluent, and coherent responses and outperforms the state-of-the-art in NLU tasks while requiring less annotation. We view our approach as a key step towards building automated and more accessible health coaching systems.
The current advancement in abstractive document summarization depends to a large extent on a considerable amount of human-annotated datasets. However, the creation of large-scale datasets is often not feasible in closed domains, such as medical and healthcare domains, where human annotation requires domain expertise. This paper presents a novel data selection strategy to generate diverse and semantic questions in a low-resource setting with the aim to summarize healthcare questions. Our method exploits the concept of guided semantic-overlap and diversity-based objective functions to optimally select the informative and diverse set of synthetic samples for data augmentation. Our extensive experiments on benchmark healthcare question summarization datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed data selection strategy by achieving new state-of-the-art results. Our human evaluation shows that our method generates diverse, fluent, and informative summarized questions.
The quest for seeking health information has swamped the web with consumers’ healthrelated questions, which makes the need for efficient and reliable question answering systems more pressing. The consumers’ questions, however, are very descriptive and contain several peripheral information (like patient’s medical history, demographic information, etc.), that are often not required for answering the question. Furthermore, it contributes to the challenges of understanding natural language questions for automatic answer retrieval. Also, it is crucial to provide the consumers with the exact and relevant answers, rather than the entire pool of answer documents to their question. One of the cardinal tasks in achieving robust consumer health question answering systems is the question summarization and multi-document answer summarization. This paper describes the participation of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Consumer Question and Multi-Answer Summarization tasks of the MEDIQA 2021 challenge at NAACL-BioNLP workshop. In this work, we exploited the capabilities of pre-trained transformer models and introduced a transfer learning approach for the abstractive Question Summarization and extractive Multi-Answer Summarization tasks by first pre-training our model on a task-specific summarization dataset followed by fine-tuning it for both the tasks via incorporating medical entities. We achieved the second, sixth and the fourth position for the Question Summarization task in terms ROUGE-1, ROUGE-2 and ROUGE-L scores respectively.
The growth of online consumer health questions has led to the necessity for reliable and accurate question answering systems. A recent study showed that manual summarization of consumer health questions brings significant improvement in retrieving relevant answers. However, the automatic summarization of long questions is a challenging task due to the lack of training data and the complexity of the related subtasks, such as the question focus and type recognition. In this paper, we introduce a reinforcement learning-based framework for abstractive question summarization. We propose two novel rewards obtained from the downstream tasks of (i) question-type identification and (ii) question-focus recognition to regularize the question generation model. These rewards ensure the generation of semantically valid questions and encourage the inclusion of key medical entities/foci in the question summary. We evaluated our proposed method on two benchmark datasets and achieved higher performance over state-of-the-art models. The manual evaluation of the summaries reveals that the generated questions are more diverse and have fewer factual inconsistencies than the baseline summaries. The source code is available here: https://github.com/shwetanlp/CHQ-Summ.
Existing studies on using social media for deriving mental health status of users focus on the depression detection task. However, for case management and referral to psychiatrists, health-care workers require practical and scalable depressive disorder screening and triage system. This study aims to design and evaluate a decision support system (DSS) to reliably determine the depressive triage level by capturing fine-grained depressive symptoms expressed in user tweets through the emulation of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) that is routinely used in clinical practice. The reliable detection of depressive symptoms from tweets is challenging because the 280-character limit on tweets incentivizes the use of creative artifacts in the utterances and figurative usage contributes to effective expression. We propose a novel BERT based robust multi-task learning framework to accurately identify the depressive symptoms using the auxiliary task of figurative usage detection. Specifically, our proposed novel task sharing mechanism,co-task aware attention, enables automatic selection of optimal information across the BERT lay-ers and tasks by soft-sharing of parameters. Our results show that modeling figurative usage can demonstrably improve the model’s robustness and reliability for distinguishing the depression symptoms.
One of the cardinal tasks in achieving robust medical question answering systems is textual entailment. The existing approaches make use of an ensemble of pre-trained language models or data augmentation, often to clock higher numbers on the validation metrics. However, two major shortcomings impede higher success in identifying entailment: (1) understanding the focus/intent of the question and (2) ability to utilize the real-world background knowledge to capture the con-text beyond the sentence. In this paper, we present a novel Medical Knowledge-Enriched Textual Entailment framework that allows the model to acquire a semantic and global representation of the input medical text with the help of a relevant domain-specific knowledge graph. We evaluate our framework on the benchmark MEDIQA-RQE dataset and manifest that the use of knowledge-enriched dual-encoding mechanism help in achieving an absolute improvement of 8.27% over SOTA language models.
The mining of adverse drug reaction (ADR) has a crucial role in the pharmacovigilance. The traditional ways of identifying ADR are reliable but time-consuming, non-scalable and offer a very limited amount of ADR relevant information. With the unprecedented growth of information sources in the forms of social media texts (Twitter, Blogs, Reviews etc.), biomedical literature, and Electronic Medical Records (EMR), it has become crucial to extract the most pertinent ADR related information from these free-form texts. In this paper, we propose a neural network inspired multi- task learning framework that can simultaneously extract ADRs from various sources. We adopt a novel adversarial learning-based approach to learn features across multiple ADR information sources. Unlike the other existing techniques, our approach is capable to extracting fine-grained information (such as ‘Indications’, ‘Symptoms’, ‘Finding’, ‘Disease’, ‘Drug’) which provide important cues in pharmacovigilance. We evaluate our proposed approach on three publicly available real- world benchmark pharmacovigilance datasets, a Twitter dataset from PSB 2016 Social Me- dia Shared Task, CADEC corpus and Medline ADR corpus. Experiments show that our unified framework achieves state-of-the-art performance on individual tasks associated with the different benchmark datasets. This establishes the fact that our proposed approach is generic, which enables it to achieve high performance on the diverse datasets.
In recent past, social media has emerged as an active platform in the context of healthcare and medicine. In this paper, we present a study where medical user’s opinions on health-related issues are analyzed to capture the medical sentiment at a blog level. The medical sentiments can be studied in various facets such as medical condition, treatment, and medication that characterize the overall health status of the user. Considering these facets, we treat analysis of this information as a multi-task classification problem. In this paper, we adopt a novel adversarial learning approach for our multi-task learning framework to learn the sentiment’s strengths expressed in a medical blog. Our evaluation shows promising results for our target tasks.
Text mining has drawn significant attention in recent past due to the rapid growth in biomedical and clinical records. Entity extraction is one of the fundamental components for biomedical text mining. In this paper, we propose a novel approach of feature selection for entity extraction that exploits the concept of deep learning and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). The system utilizes word embedding features along with several other features extracted by studying the properties of the datasets. We obtain an interesting observation that compact word embedding features as determined by PSO are more effective compared to the entire word embedding feature set for entity extraction. The proposed system is evaluated on three benchmark biomedical datasets such as GENIA, GENETAG, and AiMed. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is evident with significant performance gains over the baseline models as well as the other existing systems. We observe improvements of 7.86%, 5.27% and 7.25% F-measure points over the baseline models for GENIA, GENETAG, and AiMed dataset respectively.
Rapid growth in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) has emerged to an expansion of data in the clinical domain. The majority of the available health care information is sealed in the form of narrative documents which form the rich source of clinical information. Text mining of such clinical records has gained huge attention in various medical applications like treatment and decision making. However, medical records enclose patient Private Health Information (PHI) which can reveal the identities of the patients. In order to retain the privacy of patients, it is mandatory to remove all the PHI information prior to making it publicly available. The aim is to de-identify or encrypt the PHI from the patient medical records. In this paper, we propose an algorithm based on deep learning architecture to solve this problem. We perform de-identification of seven PHI terms from the clinical records. Experiments on benchmark datasets show that our proposed approach achieves encouraging performance, which is better than the baseline model developed with Conditional Random Field.