? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Even as population health improves and longevity increases around the globe, there will always be more biomedical problems than solutions. Strategically prioritizing and allocating the limited societal resources to discover and develop cost-effective pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other diagnostics for diseases and medical conditions with the highest return on investment motivates many governmental and private funding agencies, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, clinicians and scientists. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the biomedical research ecosystem and the scarcity of relevant data, no systematic studies have been done to comprehensively survey the past allocation of resources (i.e., funding, attention from the scientific community, clinical development) or guide the future redistribution of resources for maximal societal benefit. The goal of this project is to create a disease-specific Research Opportunity Index (ROI) and a Public Health Index (PHI) to gauge the imbalance between the disease burden associated with a particular disease or all medical conditions as a whole and the associated resource allocation over time. The project has the following specific aims: 1) collect data on key measurable factors related to biomedical research resource allocation; 2) develop and evaluate quantitative models; and 3) build a visualization tool to represent and interpret high-dimensional data. More specifically, sophisticated text mining and terminology-mapping methods will be developed to identify and quantify several key factors in biomedical research ecosystem (i.e., burden of disease, focus of the scientific community, clinical development popularity, current availability o diagnostics and medicine, funding, and/or attention from public media and intellectual property protection). By integrating these data, the ROI and PHI will be calculated for about 1,400 medical conditions over a decade period, to identify ignored niches for future research. The high-dimensional data and results will be represented and delivered to various stakeholders along the healthcare value chain using an interactive visualization tool to facilitate their decisin making. In addition to advancing the field of healthcare policy and management, this career development award will position the principal investigator as an independent researcher at the intersection of informatics and public health.
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