The development of large language models tailored for handling patients' clinical notes is often hindered by the limited accessibility and usability of these notes due to strict privacy regulations. To address these challenges, we first create synthetic large-scale clinical notes using publicly available case reports extracted from biomedical literature. We then use these synthetic notes to train our specialized clinical large language model, Asclepius. While Asclepius is trained on synthetic data, we assess its potential performance in real-world applications by evaluating it using real clinical notes. We benchmark Asclepius against several other large language models, including GPT-3.5-turbo and other open-source alternatives. To further validate our approach using synthetic notes, we also compare Asclepius with its variants trained on real clinical notes. Our findings convincingly demonstrate that synthetic clinical notes can serve as viable substitutes for real ones when constructing high-performing clinical language models. This conclusion is supported by detailed evaluations conducted by both GPT-4 and medical professionals. All resources including weights, codes, and data used in the development of Asclepius are made publicly accessible for future research.
Recently, dense contrastive learning has shown superior performance on dense prediction tasks compared to instance-level contrastive learning. Despite its supremacy, the properties of dense contrastive representations have not yet been carefully studied. Therefore, we analyze the theoretical ideas of dense contrastive learning using a standard CNN and straightforward feature matching scheme rather than propose a new complex method. Inspired by the analysis of the properties of instance-level contrastive representations through the lens of alignment and uniformity on the hypersphere, we employ and extend the same lens for the dense contrastive representations to analyze their underexplored properties. We discover the core principle in constructing a positive pair of dense features and empirically proved its validity. Also, we introduces a new scalar metric that summarizes the correlation between alignment-and-uniformity and downstream performance. Using this metric, we study various facets of densely learned contrastive representations such as how the correlation changes over single- and multi-object datasets or linear evaluation and dense prediction tasks. The source code is publicly available at: https://github.com/SuperSupermoon/DenseCL-analysis
Recently a number of studies demonstrated impressive performance on diverse vision-language multi-modal tasks such as image captioning and visual question answering by extending the BERT architecture with multi-modal pre-training objectives. In this work we explore a broad set of multi-modal representation learning tasks in the medical domain, specifically using radiology images and the unstructured report. We propose Medical Vision Language Learner (MedViLL) which adopts a Transformer-based architecture combined with a novel multimodal attention masking scheme to maximize generalization performance for both vision-language understanding tasks (image-report retrieval, disease classification, medical visual question answering) and vision-language generation task (report generation). By rigorously evaluating the proposed model on four downstream tasks with two chest X-ray image datasets (MIMIC-CXR and Open-I), we empirically demonstrate the superior downstream task performance of MedViLL against various baselines including task-specific architectures.