Past Meetings

New Analytical Tools for Using Health Data

2/18/22  Back

Our February Health TechNet meeting, which was a Zoom call, was entitled, “New Analytical Tools for Using Health Data”.

The program highlighted several compelling examples of how rigorous data analysis techniques can inform and guide major policy or treatment decisions.

Dr. Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D., from the Department of Health Administration and Policy, in the College of Health and Human Services of George Mason University, reviewed a direct-to-consumers decision aid for selection of antidepressants, developed by applying machine learning to a dataset of more than 10 million antidepressant treatments. The aid assumes a new kind of healthcare delivery system, where AI and predictive models inform patients directly and through them reach their clinicians later.

Dr. Zoe McLaren from the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County addressed health policy decision-making under “situations of uncertainty”, using the case of Covid rapid tests to focus on the effectiveness of an innovative tool and the distribution of the overall benefits to the population in such situations.

Dr. Lloyd Brodsky, formerly a solution architect with Optum Government and Computer Sciences Corporation, talked about how to fix the daily covid dashboards which have been an innovation in the current pandemic, but which usually don’t support such outreach goals as encouraging vaccination and health equity. He applied business intelligence and behavioral economics best practices to design a better dashboard, working through an example using publicly available Virginia covid data.

A recording of the meeting can be found here:

(Speaker biographies are below)

Farrokh Alemi, Ph.D., is a Professor of Health Informatics in the Department of Health Administration and Policy at George Mason University.  He is the author of more than 140 peer reviewed publications, and 4 academic books, including the 2020 textbook on statistical analysis of electronic health record data.  His research has been funded by National Institute of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Veterans Health Administration, and other organizations.  He has raised venture capital and commercialized university-developed research products. His research focuses on causal analysis of massive, high-dimensional, data.  He has worked on depression, suicide, diabetes, congestive heart failure, anemia, nursing home care, ICU care, hospice admission, poly-pharmacy, de-prescribing, and priority setting for patients with multi-morbidity.

Dr. Zoë McLaren is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is a health economist whose research informs health and economic policy to combat infectious disease epidemics including HIV, tuberculosis and COVID19 in the United States and abroad.