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OntoSPM an ontology of surgical process modeling


General purpose

Many application contexts in surgery necessitate to define knowledge models of surgical processes, e.g. decision support systems supporting surgical decision, context-aware systems enabling optimal intraoperative management of available data and resources, enhanced man-robot cooperation systems, simulation systems supporting the education and training of health care professionals. A key feature of such knowledge models is to rely on a standard vocabulary modeling the various entities and relations involved in the domain of interest. OntoSPM is an ontology initially developed in the context of the S3PM project to provide a generic vocabulary of the domain of surgical procedures, focusing on entities such as surgical procedure steps, surgical actions, actors, instruments and roles. The goal is not to provide a comprenhensive set of terms for all domains of surgery but rather to provide a generic set of terms addressing the most common needs, and that can be easily extended to address the specific needs of any surgical speciality or application. Use of OntoSPM is expected in the development of various surgery-related computer systems (see above), but also in the creation or federation of shared data repositories (e.g. video recordings of surgeries, recordings of surgical equipment movements) for algorithmic development, and performance assessment.


The design of S3PM takes into account prior works on Surgical Process Models (SPM), especially in Rennes and Leipzig (Germany). A key aspect is the ability to reuse existing ontologies. Therefore OntoSPM is built above the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO2). BFO2 an upper level ontology providing basic entities and relationships, as well as a common modeling framework facilitating the integration of ontology modules extracted from various sources. The extraction of relevant subsets of existing ontologies is made thanks to the OntoFox tool based on the MIREOT method. The current version on OntoSPM contains extracts from various well-known ontologies, e.g.: Information Artefact Ontology (IAO), Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA), Mouse Pathology (MPATH), Units of measure Ontology (UO), Phenotypic Quality Ontology (PATO). A preliminary version of OntoSPM is available and used in research projects in Rennes (S3PM project on the creation of realistic scenarios for virtual reality simulation of surgical procedures) and Karlsruhe (project on the recognition of surgical phases in laparoscopic surgery).

Main Collaborators

Main Fundings

  • S3PM project: S3PM : a CominLabs LABEX project starting in 2014 - PI: P. Jannin
inserm rennes1 ltsi