Case Study: Using the Melax CLAMP NLP Technology Platform to Meet a Client's Critical Deadline

Boosting Performance in Just Two Weeks

Summary


Melax Technologies, an award-winning leader in natural language processing solutions, gives its client the boost needed to meet a critical deadline. After struggling with a competitor’s product for a year, our client turned to Melax to develop a solution that met their needs in just two weeks’ time.


The development of natural language processing (NLP) has been a pivotal change to the way many industries analyze data. Having the ability to cull information from unstructured data is a game-changer. As various business types understand they possess a wealth of information within archival data - in thousands of files that aren't readily accessible - turning to NLP to break through barriers is critical.


Our healthcare IT client needed help developing a system that allowed them to read natural language. Additionally, the client required the system to sort, eliminate and prioritize the NLP results found within the chain of data.


The client moved from unstructured to digital data through a well-known open source NLP tool, cTAKES. cTAKES brought the client to a point where the data was transformed, but not easily used. The reason? cTAKES could not provide adequate customization to meet the diverse needs of its clients. Meaning the client was left with a wealth of digital data that was no more useful than the notes from which it was drawn. The level of sophistication needed to move past the noise to the expected results meant additional staff with high-level programming capabilities. Difficult to use and costly in terms of human resources.


The Challenge of Data Extraction


The client used NLP in conjunction with its own client-centric system to provide accurate risk-adjusted coding and reimbursement detail to their client base.


As most any clinician will attest, healthcare professionals don’t think of their patients in terms of codes or categories. And patients’ charts and medical records reflect that. For our client, taking unstructured data (i.e., clinical notes) and extracting relevant information for structured (codified) data is the basis for understanding that patient’s health risk relative to a standard of care or to a cohort.


And, as any data technician will agree, as Melax Tech’s health IT customers serve multiple hospitals and health systems, they need a system that enables the import of notes of all types, while still maintaining dependable NLP performance. The technology team behind CLAMP is able to make transportability of diverse notations in a range of EHR systems feasible and timely.


One year into their collaboration with cTAKES, our client was still unable to capture and translate the charting in a way that made the data useful to their clients.


The Melax CLAMP Solution


The success of Melax Technologies’ ability to succeed where others haven’t is the Clinical Language Annotation, Modeling, and Processing Toolkit (CLAMP). CLAMP is a comprehensive clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP) software that enables recognition and automatic encoding of clinical information in narrative patient reports.


With capabilities well beyond extracting keywords or searching for specific text, Melax moved past the chart noise to the very specifics the client needed, which had bogged down cTAKES' methodology for nearly a year.


About CLAMP


CLAMP is built on award-winning methods. Our team has participated in a number of clinical NLP challenges and is top-ranked for various tasks. Today, you'll find we have integrated these proven methods into CLAMP, making them available for any facet of the medical community to deploy.


Melax offered a combination of NLP excellence with a team of bioinformaticists who understand and can trace out every step needed to go from chart to results, while clearing out the clutter of extraneous data - that background noise cTAKES was unable to handle.


Boosting Client Performance in Just Two Weeks


CLAMP offers a detailed flow from chart to solution. Taking the results of NLP to the next level, CLAMP is able to take notes and determine whether those notes are relevant to the client’s project.


CLAMP can exclude a chart notation, include it or refer it for further examination. As an example, a patient’s medical chart will include family medical history. CLAMP is able to analyze that history and remove references to a parent or sibling with diabetes, if the client is only looking for a patient history of diabetes. Similarly, CLAMP can differentiate between a notation recommending an A1C test and actual A1C results.


Melax Technologies’ pipeline approach can look at a simple sentence within a patient’s history and determine whether that unstructured information contains data a researcher may need to develop a cohort of diabetic patients.


Each part of the CLAMP pipeline has been developed through the frontline research of a highly experienced team of bioinformatics scientists. The result is an industrial grade product clients can use out-of-the box, as a hybrid product or fully customized. Each CLAMP toolkit is backed by the same team of specialists who are collaborators, educators and sounding boards for our clients.


In just two weeks’ time Melax was able to untangle our client’s data, using CLAMP and collaborative meetings to expedite the process. Deploying its AI team, Melax taught the client’s system to buffer and distinguish between noise and the intel needed to run the client’s platform. From day one, Melax worked in concert with the client's team in a successful effort to meet requirements across all aspects of their project.


As the project progressed and success grew upon success, our client learned best practices in NLP to continually improve their own product. Additionally, Melax offered continuous AI updates to support client growth.


Our client reports:

  • Up to 94% accuracy of extracted information for their clients

  • Its system is consistently learning and improving, based on team interaction with the Melax team, and the machine learning embedded within the CLAMP toolkit.

  • The transition to accomplishment was indeed quicker and easier with the Melax team behind them


Conclusion


Melax Technologies deploys state-of-the-art research, testing and verification so clients can be assured their textual data results in an advanced, clear understanding of their patient base, whether in the realm of medical research, cohort development for insurance purposes or a myriad of other uses.


Struggling with products that don't perform, or waste time and money is not the answer. Melax takes our extensive knowledge of NLP to develop solutions that meet client needs, whether that's a fast turn-around, a custom service or a value-based solution.