Rishi Saripalle

5150 School of Information Technology · Illinois State University · IL · rishi.saripalle[at]ilstu.edu

I am Rishi Saripalle, Assistant Professor at School of Information Technology, Illinois State University . I possess 8+ years of experience in biomedical and healthcare informatics research and development. My research interests are primarily in finding solutions to issues related to the domain of biomedical and healthcare informatics by using fundamental principles of software engineering, software modeling, healthcare data standards, knowledge management, semantic web, and ontologies. I have worked closely on multiple projects with University of Connecticut Health Center such as clinical translational systems (i2b2), healthcare databases, smart healthcare platforms, EHR's, etc. I have also collaborated on applying various access control and security models to healthcare applications.

Before joining ISU, I worked as a federal contractor at National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) in Information Access Division on biomedical device and data interoperability project.


Assistant Professor

Illinois State University
  • Explore the value of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in the domain of Biomechanics and Healthcare.

  • Explore HL7 FHIR and openMRS to capture the physical activity data captured using various digital instruments such as wearables, notes, mobile apps, etc.

  • Visualizing UMLS Metathesaurus as a graph and applying graph mining algorithms such as SUBDUE, FSG, etc. to extract patterns,if any. The final goal is to design biomedical design patterns similar to software design patterns.

  • Research and development on applying software meta-modeling concepts from MOF & UML onto UMLS Semantic Network. The goal is to expose the biomedical knowledge captured by UMLS Semantic Network to software application design and development dominated by object-oriented design and model driven development.

  • Explore various data visualization for rendering UMLS Metathesaurus from the perspective of providing students a tool for student research and learning. The goal is to learn which visualization(s) the students prefer and how will the selected visualization impact student learning capability of the medical concepts. UMLS Visualization

August 2015 - Present

Software Engineer

National Institute of Standards and Technology

  • Design and implementation of an analytic framework for analyzing the data captured in an Integrated Clinical Environment (ICE) - ASTM F2761 Standard
  • Design and Development if lightweight UI for data visualization
  • Research and develop on various knowledge representational system (both SQL & NoSQL) suitable for ICE Data Logger component

August 2013 - July 2015

Graduate Research

University of Connecticut

January 2008 - July 2013

EDG Group

The MathWorks

October 2007 - January 2009


University of Connecticut

Software Engineering
Biomedical & Healthcare Informatics
January 2008 - July 2013

University of Massachusetts

Master's of Science
Semantic Web
August 2005 - August 2007


  • Leveraging virtual reality for vestibular testing: Clinical outcomes from tests of dynamic visual acuity Journal of Vestibular Research, .

    BACKGROUND:Virtual reality (VR) use as a platform for vestibular rehabilitation is widespread. However, the utility of VR based vestibular assessments remains unknown. OBJECTIVE:To compare dynamic visual acuity (DVA) scores, perceived balance, and perceived dizziness when using traditional versus VR environments for DVA testing among healthy individuals. METHODS:DVA testing occurred for both a traditional clinical protocol and in a VR variant. Horizontal, vertical, and no head motion conditions were conducted for both clinical and VR test protocols. DVA scores, balance ratings, and dizziness ratings were obtained per condition. Two-way ANOVAs with repeated measures were used to assess differences in DVA scores, balance, and dizziness ratings. RESULTS:No differences in DVA results, balance or dizziness ratings were observed when comparing traditional clinical protocol versus the VR variant. Differences across head motion conditions were observed, with no motion trials exhibiting significantly higher DVA scores and perceived balance, and lower perceived dizziness compared to vertical and horizontal head motion. Vertical head motion exhibited this same trend compared to horizontal. CONCLUSION:DVA testing conducted in VR demonstrated clinical utility for each measure. Effects of head motion were similar across test variants, indicating DVA testing in VR produces similar effects on vestibular function than traditional clinical testing. Additional research should be conducted to assess the feasibility of VR assessment in individuals with vestibular disorder.

  • An interoperable umls terminology service using fhir Future Internet, .

    The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) is an internationally recognized medical vocabulary that enables semantic interoperability across various biomedical terminologies. To use its knowledge, the users must understand its complex knowledge structure, a structure that is not interoperable or is not compliant with any known biomedical and healthcare standard. Further, the users also need to have good technical skills to understand its inner working and interact with UMLS in general. These barriers might cause UMLS usage concerns among inter-disciplinary users in biomedical and healthcare informatics. Currently, there exists no terminology service that normalizes UMLS’s complex knowledge structure to a widely accepted interoperable healthcare standard and allows easy access to its knowledge, thus hiding its workings. The objective of this research is to design and implement a light-weight terminology service that allows easy access to UMLS knowledge structured using the fast health interoperability resources (FHIR) standard, a widely accepted interoperability healthcare standard. The developed terminology service, named UMLS FHIR, leverages FHIR resources and features, and can easily be integrated into any application to consume UMLS knowledge in the FHIR format without the need to understand UMLS’s native knowledge structure and its internal working.

  • The Use of Extracurricular Interdisciplinary Project-Based Teams in Higher Education as a Catalyst for Actionable Knowledge Business Education Innovation Journal, .

    The Innovation Consulting Community is an extracurricular, interdisciplinary, project-based professional development experience available at no cost to all students at a large university in the Midwest. Students from across campus and academic levels who volunteer to participate in this noncredit, unpaid experience are formed into teams and consult with organizations under the mentorship of faculty, staff, or experienced practitioners. Prior to beginning their consulting engagements, students must complete background work in design thinking, project management, leadership, conflict resolution, and self-awareness. Additional optional professional development workshops are also offered. In addition to program mechanics, this paper provides feedback from students who participated in the first year of the program and concludes with recommendations on how institutions could develop a similar program.

  • Using HL7 FHIR to achieve interoperability in patient health record Journal of Biomedical Informatics, .

    The rapid growth and acceptance of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and standards to exchange EHRs have improved various aspects of health practices and patient care. However, the data captured in an EHR is only accessible to the providers and specialists within an organization, but not the patient. The concept of a Personal Health Record (PHR) is to allow the patients to record and manage their health data beyond EHR and if possible, see the EHR data in the PHR. Experts agree that bi-directional communication between the PHR and EHR allows the PHR to be more effective and a valuable tool for both the providers and patients. Communicating near real-time patient recorded data in PHR with an EHR will allow the provider(s) to make appropriate clinical decisions and patients can see any changes to his/her diagnostics or treatment plans. This research explores and critically analyzes HL7 FHIR to design and prototype an interoperable mobile PHR that conforms to the HL7 PHR Functional Model and allows bi-directional communication with OpenEMR.

  • Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR): Current Status in the Healthcare International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications, .

    The inception of EHR has shown a lot of potentials and virtually eliminated the drawbacks of paper-based medical notes. However, the transition has not been seamless due to various technical and political drawbacks. One of the major technical challenges is interoperability. The biomedical community has established various structural and semantic standards to capture and share medical data across heterogeneous systems such as ASTM Community Care Record, Health Level 7 (HL7) Clinical Care Document, etc. The HL7 organization has recently published Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR)- a standard to improve interoperability, overcome shortcomings of the previous standard and integrate lightweight web services. This article provides an overview of HL7 FHIR, its concepts and literature review on its current status, usage, and adoption. Based on the thorough research and literature review, we strongly believe that FHIR can bridge interoperability gap between the growing number of disparate and variety of healthcare entities.

    HL7 FHIR, FHIR, HL7 FHIR review
  • Clinical concept value sets and interoperability in health data analytics AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, .

    This paper focuses on value sets as an essential component in the health analytics ecosystem. We discuss shared repositories of reusable value sets and offer recommendations for their further development and adoption. In order to motivate these contributions, we explain how value sets fit into specific analytic tasks and the health analytics landscape more broadly; their growing importance and ubiquity with the advent of Common Data Models, Distributed Research Networks, and the availability of higher order, reusable analytic resources like electronic phenotypes and electronic clinical quality measures; the formidable barriers to value set reuse; and our introduction of a concept-agnostic orientation to vocabulary collections. The costs of ad hoc value set management and the benefits of value set reuse are described or implied throughout. Our standards, infrastructure, and design recommendations are not systematic or comprehensive but invite further work to support value set reuse for health analytics

    HL7 FHIR, FHIR, HL7 FHIR review
  • , Extending HL7 RIM Model to Capture Physical Activity Data, International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, .

    Experts recommend to include physical activity in everyone's daily routine as it helps to curb various medical issues. They provide diverse healthcare services (e.g., interventions, exercise routine, personal trainer plan, therapy, etc.) to promote healthy living and to increase physical activity in one'€™s ever increasing hectic schedules. An individual generates a lot of data when he/she performs a physical activity. However, this data (exercises, training plans, etc.) and any other associated data (e.g., results, vitals, calories, weight, etc.) is not represented using commonly agreed standards. The lack of standards has given rise to two primary issues. First, interoperability issues don'€™t allow the physical activity data to be shared and integrated with heterogeneous healthcare systems. Second, various organizations and research programs still majorly rely on paper to record the data. This makes it highly impractical to develop any data-driven physical activity applications or evidence-based program. This article provides a detailed analysis of the problem and provides a potential solution in terms of extending HL7 RIM model using health and life sciences entities from Schema.org.

    HL7 physical activity, physical activity EHR, electronic physical activity, HL7 scheama.org physical activity
  • ,UMLS visualization for biomedical and health science classroom teaching and student learning, IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics , .

    The primary goal of Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) is to unify disparate medical standards for uniform and unambiguous semantic interpretation. For the past two decades, UMLS is used in research ranging from biomedical natural language processing to electronic health record and even enhancing UMLS metathesaurus itself. However, only few research efforts have focused on its visualization and none of them are designed for classroom and student learning environment. In this research effort, we have implemented a visualization framework for UMLS using datadriven technologies. We also present a proposed evaluation framework adapted from Unified Technology Acceptance and Use Theory (UTAUT) for its impact.

    UMLS visualization, UMLS D3js, UMLS visual browser
  • Electronic Physical Activity Record (EPAR): Key for Data Driven Physical Activity Services, accepted, 18th International Conference on E-health, Networking, Applications & Services, .

    Medical experts highly recommend to include physical activity in everyone's daily routine irrespective of gender or age as it helps to improve various medical issues or curb potential issues. Simultaneously, experts are also diligently trying to provide various healthcare services (interventions, plans, exercise routines, etc.) for promoting healthy living and increasing physical activity in one's ever increasing hectic schedules. With the introduction of wearables, individuals are able to keep track, analyze, and visualize their daily physical activities. However, there seems to be no common agreed standard for representing, gathering, aggregating and analyzing an individual's physical activity data from disparate multiple sources (exercise pans, multiple wearables, etc.). This issue makes it highly impractical to develop any data-driven physical activity applications and healthcare programs. Further, the inability to integrate the physical activity data into an individual's Electronic Health Record to provide a wholistic image of that individual's health is still eluding the experts. This article has identified three primary reasons for this potential issue. First, there is no agreed standard, both structure and semantic, for representing and sharing physical activity data across disparate systems. Second, various organizations (e.g., LA fitness, Gold's Gym, etc.) and research backed interventions and programs still primarily rely on paper or unstructured format (such as text or notes) to keep track of the data generated from physical activities. Finally, most of the wearable devices operate in silos. This article identifies the underlying problem, explores the idea of reusing existing standards, and identifies the essential modules required to move forward.

    electronic physical activity record, physical activity data model, physical activity interoperability physical activity semantic ontology, physical activity Hl7
  • , Interdisciplinary Collaboration between Marketing and Software Engineering Students: Opportunities and Limitations", 22nd American Conference on Information Systems, .

    For a product to be successful, members from different functional units in an organization or even across organizations work relentlessly through phases such as market research, design & development, launch, marketing and evaluation. The invisible cardinal attribute required for this process is interoperable communication across teams. However, it is not uncommon for team members from different backgrounds to experience impediments to collaboration due to misunderstandings arising from differences in terminology or processes learned through their educational experiences which in turn impact the product development outcome. We present how a university's software engineering and marketing capstone undergraduate classes collaborated to acquire cross-functional knowledge and experience through co-development of web and mobile applications. We detail the various milestones in developing an application and explain how the application evolved. The student teams developed alpha prototypes, which looked and functioned like the final products based on the students receiving feedback from potential users.

    Interdisciplinary teaching, Interdisciplinary software marketing
  • , , , Leveraging UML for Access Control Engineering in a Collaboration on Duty and Adaptive Workflow Model that Extends NIST RBAC, Handbook of Research on Innovations in Access Control and Management, .

    To facilitate collaboration in emerging domains such as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), the authors' prior work extended the NIST role-based access control (RBAC) model to yield a formal collaboration on duty and adaptive workflow (CoD/AWF) model. The next logical step is to place this work into the context of an integrated software process for security engineering from design through enforcement. Towards this goal, the authors promote a secure software engineering process that leverages an extended unified modeling language (UML) to visualize CoD/AWF policies to achieve a solution that separates concerns while still providing the means to securely engineer dynamic collaborations for applications such as the PCMH.

    UML RBAC, UML security UML collaboration model
  • , Need for a Specialized Metamodel for Biomedical and Health Informatics Domain, International Conference for Smart Health , .

    The history of computing has taught the software community significant lessons and few of them in a hard way. After spending numerous resources, the community has realized the need for establishing standards or specification for efficiently handling interoperability issues across diverse applications and tools. For example, UML for model driven development, and XML for information exchange. The domain of biomedical informatics is traversing through a similar path where numerous resources are employed for achieving interoperability among heterogeneous biomedical applications. To mitigate this issue and learning from previous experiences, the biomedical domain has to establish a modeling standard for design and development of its software applications and tools. Towards this goal, this research article proposes a minimal metamodel for the domain of biomedical and health informatics based on MOF and UMLS Semantic Network.

    UMLS metamodel, UMLS modeling, UMLS metamodel, UMLS MOF
  • , and , HOD2MLC: Hybrid Ontology Design & Development Model with Lifecycle , International Journal of Information Technology and Web Design(IJITWE) , 10(1), .

    Ontologies have gained increasing usage to augment an application with domain knowledge, particularly in healthcare, where they represent knowledge ranging from: bioinformatics data such as protein, gene, etc. to biomedical informatics such as diseases, diagnosis, symptoms, etc. However, the current ontology development efforts and process are data intensive and construction based, creating ontologies for specific applications/requirements, rather than designing an abstract ontological solution(s) that can be reusable across the domain using a well-defined design process. To address this deficiency, the work presented herein positions ontologies as software engineering artifact that allows them to be placed into the position to share the captured domain conceptualization and its vocabulary involving disparate domain backgrounds, that can then be created, imported, exported and re-used using different frameworks, tools and techniques. Towards this end, the authors propose an agile software process for ontologies referred to as the Hybrid Ontology Design & Development Model with Lifecycle,HOD2MLC. To place HOD2MLC into a proper perspective, they explore, compare, and contrast it to existing ontology design and development alternatives with respect their various phases as related to the authors' work and phases in varied SDP models.

    ontology lifecycle, ontology modeling, ontology development
  • , Alberto De La Rosa Algarin, and Timoteus B. Ziminski,Towards Knowledge Level Privacy and Security Using RDF/RDFS and RBAC, 9th IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing, . doi:10.1109/ICOSC.2015.7050817

    Information privacy and security plays a major role in domains where sensitive information is handled, such as case studies of rare diseases. Currently, security for accessing any sensitive information is provided by various mechanisms at the user/system level by employing access control models such as Role Based Access Control. However, these approaches leave security at the knowledge level unattended, which can be inadequate. For example, in healthcare, ontology-based information extraction is employed for extracting medical knowledge from sensitive structured/unstructured data sources. These information extraction systems act on sensitive data sources which are protected against unauthorized access at the system level based on the user, context and permissions, but the knowledge that can be extracted from these sources is not. In this paper we tackle the security or access control at the knowledge level by presenting a model, to enforce knowledge security/access by leveraging knowledge sources (currently focused on RDF) with the RBAC model. The developed model filters out knowledge by means of binary permissions on the knowledge source, providing each user with a different view of the knowledge source.

  • , UMLS Semantic Network as a UML Metamodel for Improving Biomedical Ontology and Application Modeling, International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics, 10(1), .

    In the domain of biomedical and health informatics, ontologies are widely used to capture knowledge ranging from bioinformatics such as gene, protein, protein interactions, etc. to clinical/healthcare informatics knowledge such as diseases, symptoms, treatment, medication, etc. Currently, one medical knowledge source that encapsulates a broad spectrum of medical knowledge is the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), which can be defined as a compendium of diverse medical ontological standards. The primary components of the UMLS are: Semantic Network (UMLS-SN)-designed by interconnecting well-defined semantic types with semantic relationships, and Metathesaurus (UMLS-META)- the base of UMLS system that is comprised of millions of medical concepts from diverse medical standards. However, within the biomedical and health informatics community, the concepts of software engineering and domain modeling (using meta-models such as ERD, UML, and XML) are very successful in designing and implementing biomedical/health domain application models. In the current status, the UMLS-SN is primarily employed for classification of medical concepts in UMLS-META, but UMLS-SN knowledge can't be viewed or employed as a modeling framework for designing ontological models and is restricted to the UMLS environment. Thus, the impact of the biomedical semantics captured by UMLS-SN might be minimal in medical facilities, research and healthcare organizations that are highly influenced by software engineering, meta-models and domain model-based practices. In order fill this gap, the authors propose a meta-modeling framework for UMLS-SN based on the UML Profile (built using UML meta-model) that will result in a customized domain specific meta-model. This specialized meta-model that encapsulates the medical knowledge semantics of UMLS-SN can then be employed for designing ontological models or relevant healthcare application models and simultaneously be coherent with software meta-models and domain modeling practices.

  • Rishi Kanth Saripalle, Steven Demurjian , Alberto De La Rosa Algarin and Michael Blechner, A Software Engineering Process for Ontology Design and Development through Extensions to OMD and OWL, International Journal of Web Semantics and Information Systems, 9(2), IGI, 2013.

  • Rishi Kanth Saripalle, and Steven Demurjian , Attaining Knowledge Interoperability using Ontology Architectural Patterns, In. Y. Charalabidis, F. Lampathaki, & R. Jardim-Goncalves (Ed.), Revolutionizing Enterprise Interoperability through Scientific Foundations, IGI, 2013.

  • Rishi Saripalle, and Steven Demurjian , Developing Semantic Pattern using Ontology Domain Profile, Proc. of Information and Knowledge Engineering, Las Vegas, July 2012.

  • Rishi Saripalle, and Steven Demurjian , Towards a Hybrid Ontology Design and Development Life Cycle, Proc. of Semantic Web and Web Services, Las Vegas, July 2012.

  • Michael Blechner, Rishi Saripalle, and Steven Demurjian , A Proposed Star Schema and Extraction Process to Enhance the Collection of Contextual and Semantic Information for Clinical Research Data Warehouses, Biomedical and Health Informatics, 2012. doi:10.1109/BIBMW.2012.6470242

    In the past decade, clinical patient data has played a pivotal role in clinical and translational research in support of new treatment options, medical interventions, drug development, etc. In support of this process, researchers require massive integrated data sets generated via a health information exchange (HIE) to centralize and automate the development and maintenance of a clinical research data warehouse (CRDW). The data harvested from the CRDW is obtained by cleansing transactional clinical databases (TCD) used for daily clinical activities. Traditionally, TCD schema and CRDW data models only capture conceptual patient data, often neglecting to address the contextual and semantic information attached to such data that is crucial for clinical analysis. In this paper, we propose a star schema and associated extraction process to enhance the collection of contextual and semantic information in support of CRDW that leverages HL7 Clinical Document Architecture in conjunction with the Reference Information Model.

  • Timoteus B. Ziminski, Alberto De La Rosa Algarin , Rishi Saripalle, Steven Demurjian , and Eric Jackson, Towards Patient-Driven Medication Reconciliation Using the SMART Framework, International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, 2012. doi:10.1109/BIBMW.2012.6470243

    Interactions between prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and nutritional supplements can have negative consequences for patients. There is a need for the reconciliation across this spectrum spurred on by the adoption of electronic medical records by healthcare providers and the usage of personal health records by patients. In such a setting, unifying information from multiple sources through automated reconciliation can address adverse medication interactions, track adverse medication reactions, and avoid overmedication. This requires mitigating the integration issues of multiple data sources and systems. In this paper, we leverage Harvard University's SMART framework to perform medication reconciliation across different data sources, with the long-term goal of providing robust decision support for overmedication and adverse interactions. Our prototype application SMARTSync provides ontology-backed recognition of interactions, decision support, and is able to warn a patient (or notify a provider) of potential medication problems.

  • Berhe, S., Demurjian, S., Gokhale, S., Maricial-Pavlich, J., Saripalle, R., Leveraging UML for Security Engineering and Enforcement in a Collaboration on Duty and Adaptive Workflow Model that Extends NIST RBAC, in Research Directions in Data and Applications Security XXV, Y. Li (ed.), LNCS 6818,  pp. 293-300, Springer, July 2011.

  • Rishi Saripalle, Steven Demurjian, S. Behre, Towards a Software Design Process for Ontologies.", International Conference on Software and Intelligent Information, ICSII, Puerto Rico, USA, October 21-22, 2011.

  • Berhe, S., Demurjian, S., Saripalle, R., Agresta, T., Liu, J., Cusano, A., Fequiere, A, and Gedarovich, J., Secure, Obligated and Coordinated Collaboration in Health Care for the Patient-Centered Medical Home, Proc. of AMIA 2010 Annual Symposium, November 2010.

  • Solomon Berhe, Steven Demurjian, Rishi Saripalle,Thomas Agresta, Jing Liu, Antonio Cusano, Andal Fequiere, Jim Gedarovich, Secure, Obligated and Coordinated Collaboration in Health Care for the Patient-Centered Medical Home , AMIA Annu Symp Proc., pp.36 - 40,2010.

  • Steven Demurjian, Rishi Saripalle, and Solomon Berhe, An Integrated Ontology Framework for Health Information Exchange, Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE) Conference, 2009.