Clinical Natural Language Processing Research Group

About us

We are the Clinical Natural Language Processing Research Group.

Every time a patient contacts the National Health Service (NHS), texts are generated about the contact. With about 1 million patient contacts every 36 hours in the NHS*, the amount of text generated is enormous. The majority of texts is unstructured and thus not easily accessible for improving the quality of services, patient care or research.

A computing technique called "natural language processing" puts this text within easy reach of clinicians, researchers, and NHS managers.

The methods of natural language processing (NLP) have developed enormously, and it is now a "mature" technology. Combining information extraction of free text with data linkage of structured data provides a unique real-world population-level resource for medical research and care.

We are a multidisciplinary team of medical, epidemiological, computer science researchers at the University of Edinburgh who apply NLP to clinical text. Our expertise is in clinical epidemiology, machine learning, and computational linguistics. If you have a research or clinical question where NLP might help, or if you want to learn more, let us know!


*NHS statistics, facts and figures by NHS confederation

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