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The Digested Read: Every PhD in Health Informatics

By Paul M Taylor, on 10 November 2010

No one has time to read other people’s PhD theses. So, inspired by the Guardian’s Digested Read column, we’ve decided to publish succinct – very succinct – summaries of the major categories of Health Informatics PhD.

Today, in issue 1 of the series, we deal with classification problems.

Using a Fashionable New Computer Science Paradigm to Classify Cases of an Important Disease

Background
This disease is a major health problem and one where diagnostic or management errors can occur. Previous attempts to apply computers to classify cases of this disease have achieved promising results (classification accuracy of over 70% is commonly claimed) but haven’t yet led to clinical take-up. A fashionable new computer science paradigm seems to offer an exciting and novel approach to this problem.

Method
An innovative algorithm based on the fashionable new computer science paradigm was implemented by the candidate. Applying the algorithm to a publicly available dataset with questionable ground truth achieved a classification accuracy of barely more than 60%. Successive, increasingly desperate, and, in the end, almost random modifications allow a classification accuracy of nearly 70% to be claimed.

Results
A new, but disappointingly small, dataset was collected in collaboration with the local clinical team. On this dataset, the modified algorithm achieved an accuracy of just less than 60% when tested against the consensus opinion of clinicians. Closer analysis identified a subset of interesting cases where junior clinicians only achieved agreement levels of 58% when assessed against each other.

Conclusions
The application of the fashionable new computer science paradigm to this important disease seems highly promising.

3 Responses to “The Digested Read: Every PhD in Health Informatics”

  • 1
    Junaid wrote on 1 May 2011:

    Excellent work,
    I want to apply in MSc Health informatics, i have 4 years of health center IT experience. Also have graduation in Computer Science (3years CGPA 3.99/5.00)) and BA with lots of expertise in Software programming and MS office tools. I have Toefl IBT score of 73/120.
    Can You give the list of all the schools that support the educations program of MSc Health Informatics?
    Regards,
    Junaid

  • 2
    Anthony J Peacock wrote on 3 May 2011:

    Full information about the MSc in Health Informatics can be found on this web site: http://www.chime.ucl.ac.uk/study/health-informatics/

  • 3
    faiz wrote on 19 September 2011:

    i am studying MSc health informatics ,with background in radiology planning for ph d degree in health informatics
    can i have this program that related to medical imaging

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