Given the situation with the corona virus, HealTAC 2020 is postponed until 2021. This will also include the pre-conference workshop.

While we are postponing the face-to-face conference, we recognise that it is important that the community stays in touch and the work that has been prepared for this year should be made available to the wider community. In collaboration with Healtex and Health Data Research UK, we are therefore organising a half-day virtual event on April 23 this year for the community catch-up and discussions, focusing on translational activities related to COVID-19.

Please register here – the registration is free, but only registered participants will be provided links to join the meeting and break-out sessions.


Joining the meeting

The details as how to join the event have been sent through Eventbrite/Healtex (Subject: “Message to attendees of HealTAC 2020 – virtual meeting”) – if you can’t find these, please email and we will re-send the details as soon as possible.

Please use the main zoom URL for all plenary sessions and different zooms as specified in the email for different breakout sessions.




  • Sumithra Velupillai, Goran Nenadic (Healtex)
  • Caroline Cake (HDR UK)
Keynote: Prof Patrick Ruch (HEG/HESSO Geneva)
Literature triage services to support biocuration: from neXtProt to COVID-19


PhD forum
Contributors ...
Lunch break & breakout sessions (each starting at 12:30)

  • Clinical text mining 1
    Contributors ...
  • Clinical text mining 2
    Contributors ...
  • Veterinary text mining
    Contributors ...
  • Patient-focused text mining, engagement and governance
    Contributors ...
Keynote: Prof Kalina Bontcheva (University of Sheffield)
COVID-19 Disinformation: Why it matters and why should you get involved


Panel discussion: Text analytics for Covid-19

  • Panelists: Rob Stewart, KCL (chair); Luke Slater, University of Birmingham (slides); Beatrice Alex, University of Edinburgh (slides), Richard Dobson, KCL; Will Dixon, University of Manchester (slides)
Demo break-outs

  • Linguamatics (starts at 14:30 and again at 15:00)
  • IE-Viz (starts 14:45 and again at 15:00)
  • MedCATTrainer:2.0 (starts 14:45 and again at 15:00)
  • SemantEx (starts at 14:30 and again at 15:00)
  • 2Dsearch (starts at 14:30 and again 14:45)
15:15 Open session and Close



HealTAC 20202 contributions


Oral presentations (long)

Samuel Dobbie, Huw Strafford, Owen Pickrell, Beata Fonferko-Shadrach, Ashley Akbari, Simon Thompson and Arron Lacey Markup: A Web-based Clinical Annotation Tool with Enhanced Ontology Mapping
Denis Newman-Griffis, Jonathan Camacho Maldonado, Pei-Shu Ho, Albert Lai and Eric Fosler-Lussier Diving for Pearls: Indexing Mobility Information in US Social Security Administration Clinical Records with a Neural Relevance Tagger
Ghada Alfattni, Natalia Viani, Sumithra Velupillai and Goran Nenadic Investigating the Challenges in Medication Information Extraction from Biomedical Free-text Data


Oral presentations (short)

Abeed Sarker, Yuan-Chi Yang and Mohammed Al-Garadi A Light-weight Text Summarizer for Fast Access to Medical Evidence
Hanna Berg, Aron Henriksson, Uno Fors and Hercules Dalianis De-identification of Clinical Text for Secondary Use: Research Issues
Natasha Chilman, Xingyi Song, Angus Roberts, Robert Stewart, Anna Kolliakou and Jayati Das-Munshi Text-Mining Occupations from the Electronic Health Record: The Development and Evaluation of a Natural Language Processing Application to Extract Occupations from the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) Case Register
Elizabeth Ford and Keegan Curlewis The Benefits to Patients of Research using Clinical Free Text: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Dmitri Roussinov, Andrew Conkie, Andrew Patterson and Christopher Sainsbury Predicting Clinical Events Based On Raw Text: From Bag of Words to Attention-Based Transformers
Jaya Chaturvedi and Angus Roberts Comparison of Drug Resources to Build a Dictionary of Medications
Anastazia Zunic, Padraig Corcoran and Irena Spasic Improving the performance of sentiment analysis in health and wellbeing using domain knowledge
Rebecca Bendayan, Honghan Wu, Zejko Kraljevic, Robert Stewart, Tom Searle, Jaya Chaturvedi, Jayati Das-Munshi, Zina Ibrahim, Aurelie Mascio, Angus Roberts, Daniel Bean and Richard Dobson Identifying physical health comorbidities in a cohort of individuals with severe mental illness: An application of SemEHR


PhD forum

Mat Rawsthorne Prototyping an unobtrusive measure of online psychological flexibility in a moderated mental health peer support forum
Julia Walsh How and for what purposes is spontaneously generated online patient experience (SGOPE) data currently being used within health research
Evangelia Gogoulou Language Models for early prediction of treatment failure in Internet based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy



Mathieu Guidere, Christian Fluhr, Aurélie Rossi and Zhen Wang NLP Applied to Online Suicide Intention Detection (poster)
Sally Giles, Lamiece Hassan, Will Dixon, Goran Nenadic, Stephen Campbell and Caroline Sanders Automated surveillance of discussions relating to adverse drug reactions on social media: what do patients think?
Luke T Slater, William Bradlow, Robert Hoehndorf, Simon Ball and Georgios V Gkoutos Komenti: Semantic Text Annotation with Synonym Expansion and Negation Detection
Lama Alsudias and Paul Rayson Analyzing the Spread of Influenza in Arabic Twitter (poster)
Daphné Chopard, Matthias Treder and Irena Spasić Automated Data Augmentation for Natural Language Processing
Eleanor Walsh, Avon Huxor, Emma Turner, Raul Santos-Rodriguez and Chris McWilliams Elements of free text used in decision making: an exemplar from death reviews in prostate cancer and learning disabilities.
Nemanja Vaci, Ivan Koychev, Chi-Hun Kim, Andrey Kormilitzin, Qiang Liu, Christopher Lucas, Azad Dehghan, Goran Nenadic and Alejo Nevado-Holgado Real-World Effectiveness, Predictors and Onset of Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Memantine in Dementia: A Retrospective Health Record Study of 7400 Individuals using the UK CRIS Platform
Anastazia Zunic, Padraig Corcoran and Irena Spasic Sentiment analysis in health and well-being
Thomas Rowlands and Tim Beck GWAS Information Extraction using Natural Language Processing
Hang Dong, Honghan Wu and Cathie Sudlow Initialising Label Embedding for Automated Medical Coding of Clinical Notes
Aurelie Mascio, Zeljko Kraljevic, Angus Roberts, Robert Stewart and Richard Dobson Extracting symptoms from medical records: a comparative analysis
Risha Govind, Richard Dobson, Cathryn Lewis and James Maccabe When did the patient start taking the medication?
Imogen Schofield, Noel Kennedy, David Brodbelt, Stijn Niessen, David Church, Rebecca Geddes and Dan O’Neill Incorporation of Natural Language Processing into Veterinary Electronic Health Records for Machine Learning Analysis
Oluwatosin Dairo, Mercedes Arguello, David Singleton, Goran Nenadic, Pj Noble and Glen Martin Automating anti-microbial usage compliance monitoring from veterinary clinical text (poster)
Mercedes Arguello-Casteleiro, Pj Noble, Oluwatosin Dairo, Alan D. Radford and Goran Nenadic Real-time monitoring of veterinary clinical symptoms: a case study on temperature and vomiting
Lama Alqurashi, Angus Roberts and Rina Dutta Content bias – a new perspective on linguistic bias
Eva-Lisa Meldau, Sara Hedfors Vidlin, Lucie Gattepaille, Henric Taavola, Lovisa Sandberg, Yasunori Aoki and G. Niklas Norén Deep learning for de-identification of case narratives in reports of suspected adverse drug reactions
Xi Yang, Goran Nenadic and Chengkun Wu Mining a Stroke Knowledge Graph from Biomedical & TCM literature
Peter Noble and Alan Radford Identification of disease outbreak in UK dogs using topic modelling.
Denis Newman-Griffis, Guy Divita, Bart Desmet, Ayah Zirikly, Carolyn Rosé and Eric Fosler-Lussier Ambiguity in Medical Concept Normalization: An Analysis of Types and Coverage in Electronic Health Record Datasets
Heather Davies, Peter-John Noble, Gina Pinchbeck and David Killick Dictionary Creation for the Identification of Suspected Adverse Drug Reactions in Veterinary Free Text Clinical Narratives
Adam Lavertu, Russ B. Altman, Amit Kaushal and Jonathan Chen

Using BERT to extract hidden value from clinical pager data



Hui Feng, Simon Beaulah and David Milward Linguamatics Natural Language Processing Software Demo
Michael Barclay and Alan Rosenbach Knowledge Acquisition AI for Healthcare Text-Analytics
Andreas Grivas, Claire Grover, Richard Tobin and Beatrice Alex EdIE-Viz: An interactive demo for text mining brain imaging reports
Dominic Cassidy, Arron Lacey, Stuart Hendren and Owen Pickrell Using ARGA to extract structured epilepsy data from unstructured clinic letters – A software demonstration
Thomas Searle, Zeljko Kraljevic, Anthony Shek, James Teo, Mark Richardson, Zina Ibrahim and Richard Dobson MedCATTrainer:2.0 An Assisted Free-Text Annotation Interface to Train a Named Entity Recognition and Linking Model for Clinical Terminologies
Tony Russell-Rose and Jon Chamberlain The use of text analytics in transparent and reproducible structured searching