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Can computers save health care? IU research shows lower costs, better outcomes
Date:2/11/2013

orrect diagnosis and treatment less than half the time on a first visit; and a lag time of between 13 and 17 years between research and practice in clinical care.

"We're using modern computational approaches to learn from clinical data and develop complex plans through the simulation of numerous, alternative sequential decision paths," Bennett said. "The framework here easily out performs the current treatment-as-usual, case-rate/fee-for-service models of healthcare."

Bennett is also a data architect and research fellow with Centerstone Research Institute, the research arm of Centerstone, the nation's largest not-for-profit provider of community-based behavioral health care. The two researchers had access to clinical data, demographics, and other information on over 6,700 patients who had major clinical depression diagnoses, of which about 65-70 percent had co-occurring chronic physical disorders like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

Using 500 randomly selected patients from that group for simulations, the two compared actual doctor performance and patient outcomes against sequential decision-making models, all using real patient data. They found great disparity in the cost per unit of outcome change when the artificial intelligence model's cost of $189 was compared to the treatment-as-usual cost of $497.

"This was at the same time that the AI approach obtained a 30 to 35 percent increase in patient outcomes," Bennett said. "And we determined that tweaking certain model parameters could enhance the outcome advantage to about 50 percent more improvement at about half the cost."

While most medical decisions are based on case-by-case, experience-based approaches, there is a growing body of evidence that complex treatment decisions might best be handled through modeling rather than intuition alone.

"Modeling lets us see more possibilities out to a further point, which is something that is hard for a doctor to do," Hauser
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Contact: Steve Chaplin
stjchap@iu.edu
812-856-1896
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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