Machine learning can help detect presence of cancer, improve public health reporting

To support public health reporting, the use of computers and machine learning can better help with access to unstructured clinical data–including in cancer case detection, according to a recent study.  Often, the unstructured free text data made available by electronic health records is obtained by means that are “resource intensive, inherently complex and rely on structured clinical data and dictionary-based approaches,” according to the authors of the study, published in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics. The researchers, from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, used about 7,000 pathology reports from the Indiana health information exchange to attempt to detect cancer cases using already available algorithms and open source machine learning tools. “We think that its no longer necessary for humans to spend time reviewing text reports to determine if…


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