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CHHS Researcher Studies Public Health Data

A paper co-published by CHHS faculty is demonstrating the capability of new technology that allows in-depth analysis of health outcomes amongst different groups. Published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the research outlines a novel approach to studying public health data.

The technology lets researchers look at distinct populations experiencing high levels of a health problem in a more detailed manner than was possible using previous methods.

"Existing sources of publicly available data and powerful information technology enable hundreds of millions of subpopulations to be defined and analyzed for multiple outcomes, such as deaths (as in our demonstration), avoidable hospitalizations, inpatient and ambulatory surgical complications, readmissions, newly diagnosed cancers, emergency room visits and many others," the study noted.

New ROI to Optimize Biomedical Resource Allocations

Public and private entities that fund biomedical research face difficult choices on how to allocate a finite level of capital, and scientists often take risks in selecting research topics multiple times in their academic careers. UNC Charlotte data scientist Lixia Yao, in a recently published article in Nature Biotechnology titled “Health ROI as a Measure of Misalignment of Biomedical Needs and Resources,” suggests a better method for those funding agencies and scientists.

“We believe that greater returns on investment can be achieved for the entire society if we could more effectively distribute biomedical research resources, including both funding and human capital,” said Yao, an assistant professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems in the College of Computing and Informatics. She worked with collaborators at Columbia University, GlaxoSmithKline and the University of Chicago to develop the health ROI.

Click here to read more about the research.