Publicly Available Clinical BERT Embeddings


Contextual word embedding models such as ELMo and BERT have dramatically improved performance for many natural language processing (NLP) tasks in recent months. However, these models have been minimally explored on specialty corpora, such as clinical text; moreover, in the clinical domain, no publicly-available pre-trained BERT models yet exist. In this work, we address this need by exploring and releasing BERT models for clinical text: one for generic clinical text and another for discharge summaries specifically. We demonstrate that using a domain-specific model yields performance improvements on 3/5 clinical NLP tasks, establishing a new state-of-the-art on the MedNLI dataset. We find that these domain-specific models are not as performant on 2 clinical de-identification tasks, and argue that this is a natural consequence of the differences between de-identified source text and synthetically non de-identified task text.

Proceedings of the 2nd Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop
Emily Alsentzer
Postdoctoral Fellow

My research addresses the challenges of applying machine learning and natural language processing to healthcare.