Health Language Analytics (formerly known as Health Language Laboratories) is a company specialising in Natural Language Processing of clinical prose documents. This is an entirely new field that HLA has brought out of the laboratory into industrial strength production. HLA is a unique company in Australia and has few competitors around the world.
The company began with supporting the management of data in clinical information systems and rescuing data from moribund systems. It diverted its activities into language processing as the need for more advanced approaches to information extraction from text became an apparent need with the rapid development of e-medical records. Professor Jon Patrick drew into the company a number of his PhD graduates with experience in clinical language processing (CLP) to initiate a large project with the Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) to extract content from radiology reports. The company has now built up a significant infrastructure for language processing activities that enables it to offer a wide range of functionalities to potential clients.
The company has great potential as a market leader. Indeed in some ways, it is the creator of the market having defined and created the first successful commercial project in the field with the VCR. Current negotiations with the large American company 3M to use HLA’s language processing infrastructure as a component of its Coder software, used around the world, indicate immediate opportunities for the company to launch itself on the international marketplace.