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Webinar Recording

Health Outcomes Research with Bayesian Networks and BayesiaLab

Recorded on June 1, 2018.

 

Webinar Materials

Abstract

"Less than one percent of our health care spending goes to examining what treatments are most effective.... So, one thing we need to do is figure out what works, and encourage rapid implementation of what works into your practices." [1] 

Why is that so? Figuring out "what works" from observational data is theoretically impossible and, for practical purposes, very difficult. The apparent lack of research efforts merely reflects this reality. 

Treatment efficacy is ultimately a causal question, and causality cannot be inferred from observational data. And, medical records are just that, i.e., non-experimental, observational data. Neither large amounts of data nor advanced statistical techniques can overcome this fundamental limitation. In this webinar, we illustrate this challenge with a particularly twisted example of Simpson's Paradox.

Of course, the gold standard for establishing causal effects is running an experiment, which is not an option in many research contexts. Where does that leave us? Can we say anything about treatment efficacy from the avalanche of newly-generated patient records? While there is no true substitute for experiments, we can make some theoretical assumptions that allow us to estimate causal effects given these assumptions. Of course, as assumptions can be wrong, any researcher would endeavor to make as few as possible.

This is where Bayesian networks and BayesiaLab come into play. Bayesian networks can help us identify what minimal causal assumptions are truly required for effect estimation purposes. And, BayesiaLab can immediately perform the effect estimation based on those assumptions.

Observational vs Causal Model

In this webinar, we showcase a complete research workflow, from importing patient data to computing the effects of different treatment policies, including their interactions. 

All data sets and the corresponding Bayesian network modes will be available for download after the webinar.

[1] President Obama's prepared address on health care reform to the American Medical Association, as released by the White House, June 15, 2019.

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Upcoming Seminars, Webinars, and Conferences

Public Seminar at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore March 28, 2019 13:00 – 16:00 (UTC+8) Human-Machine Teaming in Practice:
Bayesian Networks as a Collaborative Approach to Artificial Intelligence
Live Webinar April 25, 2019 11:00 – 12:00 (CDT, UTC-5) Black Swans & Bayesian Networks
Live Webinar May 16, 2019 11:00 – 12:00 (CDT, UTC-5) Human-Machine Teaming
Live Webinar May 30, 2019 11:00 – 12:00 (CDT, UTC-5) Causal Counterfactuals for Contribution Analysis — Explaining a Misunderstood Concept with Bayesian Networks
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7th Annual BayesiaLab Conference

October 7–9, 2019 Durham, NC 3-Day Introductory Course
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