The SNOMED CT browser ©
is a web application that makes it possible online to search concepts, terms and synonyms - and visualize the relations between concepts in the medical terminology
SNOMED CT is a comprehensive medical terminology intended for use in clinical applications - e.g. EHR systems. Since the concepts - i.e. diagnoses, procedures etc. - in SNOMED CT are indexed, this terminology is also claimed to facilitate data retrieval, for example in connection with medical research, registries and quality assurance.
SNOMED CT is released from national release centers in countries that are members of the IHTSDO - an international standard development organization.
The SNOMED CT tables are distributed as "flat" files. The distribution format does, however, not directly reveal how the concepts are related.
Several "browsers" have been developed in order to serve different aspects of this purpose - some as applications for local installation and others as web based solutions (see below).
The SNOMED CT Browser shows the content in the distribution files - centered around the - currently - selected concept. The selected concept is shown in two places 1) in the yellow bar and 2) at the top of the left panel - in blue text.
The yellow bar divides the interface. There are two search boxes in the top panel. In the leftmost box you can type an exact search string (including spaces) - and you can refine your search in the right box. This is a "type ahead" box that "takes" several words or part(s) of words.
It is possible to "jump" between concepts by "clicking" the terms in the search-, concept definition-, subtype- and inverse relation panels. All panels can be resized. In order to benefit from the browser - some insight into the
architecture of SNOMED CT as well as some clinical knowledge are required.
Most of the contents of the panels should be self-explanatory - except perhaps from the "inverse relation(s)" panel. The contents of this panel gives - when present - answers to questions as e.g. "which disorders are caused by the currently selected microorganism?" - etc.
Open The SNOMED CT browser - or -
The SNOMED CT browser - with Danish synonyms shown in the "concept codes & terms" panel.
The National Health Service and the
National Library of Medicine maintain lists with links to other SNOMED CT browsers.
What is not done and not shown?
SNOMED CT is based on a multiaxial, polyhierarchal architecture - or an unidirectional graph - and a "clickable" monohierarchal presentation of the tree-structure - as seen in various other browsers - has not been chosen for representation of the "is a" relations. This kind of layout has been evaluated - and deselected - since it can give a false impression of the "is a" hierarchies. The browser only show active concepts and omit "qualifiers". The browser does not show the descriptionid of the "fully specified name". Due to the functional limitations of some web browsers - especially "Internet Explorer" - some of the functions in The SNOMED Browser have been restricted - e.g. is the number of concepts in the "subtype" panel currently restricted to 1000. The browser does not perform "smart" or context based searches - it presents the relationships "as is". Context based lookups and "smart" searches are subjects under investigation in
The EHR project.