R API for Pathling

pathling package is the R API for Pathling, based on sparklyr. It provides a set of functions that aid the use of FHIR terminology services and FHIR data within R code.

Local installation


To install, run these commands:

# Install the `pathling` package.

# Install the Spark version required by Pathling.

Running on Windows

Additional steps are required to run Pathling on Windows, related to setting up Hadoop on Windows. These are described in the Pathling Windows Installation documentation.

Running on Databricks

See Pathling Databricks installation for instructions on how to install the Pathling R API on Databricks.

Getting started

The example below shows how to use pathling terminology functions to find codes and names of viral diseases in an R data frame. The dataframe conditions is an example dataset that comes with the pathling package.


# Create a default Pathling context.
pc <- pathling_connect()

# Copy the R data frame to a Spark data frame.
conditions_sdf <- pc %>%
        pathling_spark() %>%
        copy_to(conditions, overwrite = TRUE)

# Define an ECL expression for viral diseases.
VIRAL_DISEASE_ECL <- '<< 64572001|Disease| : (
      << 370135005|Pathological process| = << 441862004|Infectious process|,
      << 246075003|Causative agent| = << 49872002|Virus|

# Use Pathling terminology functions and dplyr verbs to find codes for viral 
# diseases and obtain their display names.
result <- conditions_sdf %>%
        filter(!!tx_member_of(!!tx_to_snomed_coding(CODE), !!tx_to_ecl_value_set(VIRAL_DISEASE_ECL))) %>%
        mutate(DISPLAY_NAME = !!tx_display(!!tx_to_snomed_coding(CODE))) %>%
        select(CODE, DISPLAY_NAME) %>%
        distinct() %>%

# Disconnect from the Pathling context.
pc %>% pathling_disconnect()

# As we used collect(), result is also an R data frame.
result %>% show()

This should produce the following output:

# A tibble: 2 × 2
       CODE DISPLAY_NAME           
      <int> <chr>                  
1 195662009 Acute viral pharyngitis
2 444814009 Viral sinusitis   

Please note that in this example both the input and output are R data frames, even though internally they were processed as Spark/Sparklyr data frames.

To find out about other Pathling capabilities please explore the examples in the help topics for pathling functions. In particular these are some good starting points:

Developer notes (MacOS)

The following packages are needed to generate pdf manuals:

brew install basictex
brew install freetype

Then run the following to install the inconsolata fonts used in R manuals:

# Install texlive packages needed to build R package vignettes
sudo tlmgr update --self
sudo tlmgr update --all
sudo tlmgr install titling framed inconsolata
sudo tlmgr install collection-fontsrecommended

The following packages may be needed to build the dependencies of devtools.

brew install harfbuzz fribidi
brew install libjpeg
brew install libtiff
brew install libgit2

To setup the dev environment, run the following commands:

Use miniconda to install R in the activated dev environment:

# run 'conda activate your-dev-env-name' first
conda install -y -c conda-forge r-base=4.1.3

Install the devtools R package:

Rscript --vanilla -e 'install.packages("devtools", repos="https://cloud.r-project.org/")'

Pathling is copyright © 2018-2023, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ABN 41 687 119 230. Licensed under the Apache License, version 2.0.