The recent explosion in health data has created unprecedented opportunities for healthcare improvement. However, traditional analytics and existing computational platforms are poorly suited for handling the size and complexity of health data, leading to few real-world examples of ‘big data’ successfully impacting clinical care. One core methodological challenge that currently limits health research is to analyze temporal patterns in longitudinal data for novel discovery and prediction. Although there exists an extraordinary volume of information on patients over time, temporal patterns are frequently overlooked in favor of simplistic, cross-sectional snapshots. This project aims to develop methodologies for understanding longitudinal data, estimating time-varying parameters and predicting patient-specific trajectories. The research team will test their methodologies in the context of two clinical challenges: (1) to improve the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosing acute respiratory distress syndrome onset and (2) to advance abilities to predict progression of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
The research team will establish the Michigan Center for Health Analytics & Medical Prediction (M-CHAMP), with a group of investigators from five U-M schools and colleges. M-CHAMP will create a vibrant ecosystem that brings together (1) method experts in computer science, engineering, and statistics and (2) health domain experts and clinicians using novel computational platforms built by (3) informatics experts. This tripartite approach improves not only the quality, efficiency, and relevance of multidisciplinary data science in health research, but also its transparency, reproducibility, and dissemination. Through the initial project, the team will gain a deeper understanding of the temporal patterns in complex, real-world patient data through innovative analytic techniques, facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment in a personalized manner, and build a framework to generalize the methods to other health conditions.
M-CHAMP will build partnership with UM researchers in a Patient Centered Clinical Outcomes Research Institute Clinical Data Research Network, and utilize the rich computing and statistical resources on campus to enable sharing, reusing, and remixing of data and models. M-CHAMP will also incorporate clinical experts and leaders who are well positioned to integrate data science into the day-to-day workflow in the clinics and to spread such practice throughout the U-M community so that new insights will directly impact patient care. The research team’s ultimate goal is not only to develop data science methodologies that directly impact healthcare, but to also revolutionize the way data science is integrated into healthcare.