Ontology in medicine and nursing

Ontology in medicine and nursing. Ontology is an area of study from philosophy, whose object is focused on entities. In other words, it studies the existence and nature of being, understanding how “being is being”. In medicine and nursing, ontology deals with understanding the way in which categories give structure to this applied science.

We are going to talk about ontology both in medicine and in nursing respectively, understanding how the categories are elaborated in these sciences, through ontology.


Ontology in medicine pursues the consolidation of knowledge as an accessible entity, which allows to standardize information, and thus, generate mechanisms that allow all professionals in the area to match the desired results in medical practice.

Understanding that ontology is based, at least in the medical area, on the schematization of knowledge, is the key to understanding its role in medicine. Its objective is, in this way, to formalize in a useful way all the information obtained either through research and / or medical practice.

Thus, a body of knowledge will be created that can be reliably reused, finding the results obtained in the treatment of pathologies. Consequently, increasingly efficient mechanisms are obtained, significantly improving the scope of work.

This explains the constant conduct of research in the area of medicine, finding different objectives in each case. First of all, we can talk about obtaining and collecting information.

Next, it is possible to highlight the classification, or also the categorization of knowledge, creating an ordered body of data during investigations. The result, increasingly effective models in the area of application, teaching, and even research itself.

Thanks to ontology, medicine has managed to evolve as far as its knowledge is concerned, maintaining a constant evolution of its body of data. This, in conjunction with technological developments, provides a total transformation of, in this case, medicine per se.


In this context, we find the so-called “ontology of care”, referring to all those constructs that are part of the nursing area, and that constitute, today, all the concepts that define nursing.

Its objective is not far from the case of medicine, since we find ourselves with a search for knowledge, in order to appropriate an increasingly efficient model, bringing nursing closer to a more optimal applicable science.

At least 4 criteria are met that define the nursing ontology, which are based on obtaining and consolidating knowledge:

  1. Real: Based on verifiable facts, which can be empirically proven. Perceptible and tangible knowledge.
  2. Potential: That it can be reusable, generating significant value from its net use.
  3. True: What a contrast with the truth, managing to be transparent and, thus, used by anyone.
  4. Logical: Knowledge that brings together the logical bases, so that it can be schematized in a coherent and accessible way to a knowledge model.

The purpose of ontology in nursing is tailored in order to ensure the well-being of the patient to the greatest extent possible. To achieve this, the investigations must be in charge of the compilation of useful information, generating contributions that determine a greater technological, professional and investigative development in the area.

Thanks to ontology in nursing, it is possible to have methods adapted to the needs of the patient and the professional in the area. All, thanks to the correct systematization of knowledge, achieving a much more effective management of the knowledge that exists in the full practice of nursing.

An approach towards the development of useful knowledge

As we have observed, both cases cite an approach aimed at generating knowledge that adds useful value to the application of methods, information analysis and teaching of knowledge models. All this, from the creation and outlining of categories.

A task that continues to develop, especially in the last 20 years, in the face of so many technological advances, which have made it possible to increase the scope of investigations, and in this way, obtaining a greater amount of data to be categorized.

However, investigations require an order, and it is there that not even the ontology itself has managed to correctly control this situation. It happens that there is no linearity in the research, that is, there is not the same direction, and much less in an area as diversified as the area of health.

There is a wide variety of centers dedicated to research, the objective of which is to facilitate an increasingly uniform and standardized body of knowledge. The problem lies in the fact that this situation occurs in parallel, that is, multiple centers pursue the same objective of standardizing.

The problem arises when we find that there is no single direction in the investigations, and the taxonomies are different in each case, which, on the contrary, ends up generating controversies in the information.

Ontology, whether we speak of medicine or, specifically, nursing, is the systematic elaboration and representation of knowledge, aimed at developing the useful value in it. This occurs through medical research, aimed at transforming existing concepts, improving their understanding and adapting them to current needs in theoretical terms.

Theoretical terms that, naturally, will open up new possibilities at a practical level, allowing, on the one hand, access to valuable information by future researchers and / or professionals in the area, and on the other, the modeling of models towards excellence, approaching increasingly efficient results.

This, just to speak of medicine and nursing specifically, since ontology has allowed this same effect in an infinity of study and application areas, being responsible for the advancement of multiple models. In this sense, we speak of a determining tool in the progress of society itself.


  1. (S / F). The use of ontologies in precision medicine (In Spanish). Intramed. Recovered from: https://www.intramed.net/contentever.asp?contenid=93551
  2. (S / F). Ontology in medicine: A rough review (In Spanish). Bdigital. Recovered from: http://bdigital.ula.ve/storage/pdf/tge/v11n21/art02.pdf
  3. (S / F). Ontology. Meanings (In Spanish). Recovered from: https://www.significados.com/ontologia/

Read also:Ancient ontology

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