Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/ICD11

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Collaboration between International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) and Wikipedia

The World Health Organization is currently revising the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) towards the ICD-11 [1]. The revision process is utilizing a wiki-like approach and would like to collaborate with Wikipedia Medical Editors in the revision process.

Revision process[edit]

WHO is involving various stakeholders in the development of ICD-11. The development is taking place on an internet-based workspace, called iCAT (Collaborative Authoring Tool) Platform, somewhat similar to Wikipedia—yet it requires more structure and a greater peer review process. WHO collaborates through this platform with all interested parties.


We entered the Beta Phase of the revision in May 2012 and opened the ICD platform to the public for view, commenting, further development and testing [2]. The Beta Phase will last until May 2015, but then will enter into a perpetual evolution. We expect broad participation from ICD users – hopefully wikipedians as well. It is desired that there is a systematic effort between the ICD Revision and Wikipedia Medical Editors.

ICD-11 definitions[edit]

In ICD-11 each disease entity will have definitions that give key descriptions and guidance on what the meaning of the entity/category is in human readable terms - to guide users. This is an advancement over ICD-10 because in ICD-10 there were only title headings. Inclusion of definitions increases the utility and specificity of ICD. All ICD entities will have a concise definition (100 words) in the print version. More detailed definitions can be found ONLINE. The definitions have a standard structure according to a template with standard definition templates and further features exemplified in a “Content Model”.

Content model[edit]

The content model is a structured framework that captures the knowledge that underpins the definition of an ICD entity.

  • Represents ICD entities in a standard way
  • Allows computerization ( with links to ontologies and SNOMED CT)
  • Each ICD entity can be seen from different dimensions or “parameters”. E.g. there are currently 13 defined main parameters in the Content Model (see below) to describe a category in ICD. A parameter is expressed using standard terminologies known as “value sets”


  1. ICD Entity Title
  2. Classification Properties
  3. Textual Definitions
  4. Terms
  5. Body System/Structure Description
  6. Temporal Properties
  7. Severity of Subtypes Properties
  8. Manifestation Properties
  9. Causal Properties
  10. Functioning Properties
  11. Specific Condition Properties
  12. Treatment Properties
  13. Diagnostic Criteria

ICD exists in 41 languages in electronic versions and translation efforts could be linked with Wikidata as well. may be a useful place to organize a disease classification system. Especially with it purported ability to be language neutral. At Wikimania 2012 there will be a discussion about the collaboration.[3]


Wikipedia is under a CC BY SA license. Much of the United Nations content is in the public domain. World Health Organization content however is copyrighted. Some intergovernmental organizations are also under a creative commons license.[1] We will need to work on getting the WHO to adopt a more open license.

Users involved[edit]