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Big Medical Data

MIT News (01/25/13) Larry Hardesty

Last year the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) launched bigdata@csail, a big data initiative that includes several projects designed to make medical data more accessible to physicians and patients.  For example, researchers in the Clinical Decision Making Group are developing methods for bringing artificial intelligence to the medical community.  The group participates in a large initiative to create a database system that would link genomic and clinical data so that doctors can more easily test hypotheses about connections between genetic variations and certain diseases.  The group recently presented a new approach to the problem of word-sense disambiguation, or inferring from context which of a word’s several meanings is intended.  Meanwhile, researchers in CSAIL’s Data-Driven Medicine Group are investigating techniques for detecting and predicting hospital-borne infections.  In addition, researchers in the New Media Medicine Group are developing tools to enable members of online discussion boards to gather and organize medically relevant data about their own experiences with particular diseases and courses of treatments.