Skip to Main Content
An increasing amount of data is now accrued in medical information systems; however, the organization of this data is still primarily driven by data source, and does not support the cognitive processes of physicians. As such, new methods to visualize patient medical records are becoming imperative in order to assist physicians with clinical tasks and medical decision-making. The TimeLine system is a problem-centric temporal visualization for medical data: information contained with medical records is reorganized around medical disease entities and conditions. Automatic construction of the TimeLine display from existing clinical repositories occurs in three steps: 1. data access, which uses an extensible Markup Language (XML) data representation to handle distributed, heterogeneous medical databases; 2. data mapping and reorganization, reformulating data into hierarchical, problem-centric views; and 3. data visualization, which renders the display to a target presentation platform. Leveraging past work, we describe the latter two components of the TimeLine system in this paper, and the issues surrounding the creation of medical problems lists and temporal visualization of medical data. A driving factor in the development of TimeLine was creating a foundation upon which new data types and the visualization metaphors could be readily incorporated.