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Dr. William Paiva and Dr. Zhuqi Miao
Dr. William Paiva and Dr. Zhuqi Miao

Building the healthcare of the future

Friday, October 29, 2021

Media Contact: Bailey Stacy | Marketing and Communications, Coordinator | 405-744-2700 |

The Institute for Predictive Medicine (IPM) is a venture created by Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Systems Innovation (CHSI) to address an urgent need to find innovations, delivery methods and information technology solutions to improve rural and Native American health care outcomes while reducing cost.

IPM was selected in 2019 as one of three initiatives that create a common purpose or significant social impact while enhancing the reputation of OSU’s Spears School of Business.

“The problems we’re trying to address in society are rarely solved through a very narrow lens of any one field or discipline,” said Dr. William Paiva, executive director of OSU CHSI. “They almost always involve interdisciplinary work to solve these big challenges, which is why our work has been a joint effort to bring together the best and brightest from the Spears School of Business, industrial engineering, statistics department and CHS.”

IPM, proposed by Dr. Zhuqi Miao with CHSI, has already made strides to address the lack of rural primary care physicians and subspecialists by creating predictive analytic tools to aid in the diagnosing and prevention of diabetic retinopathy, which won a prestigious National Institutes of Health Grant.

They have also published a white paper, Improving Interoperability to Address the Physician Shortage, with Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL).

“We are looking at new innovative care and business models to build clinical primary care capacity in rural Native American markets as well as advanced information technology layers to address the lack of subspecialists in those markets,” Paiva said. “I call it the lack of 'ologists.' There are no cardiologists, neurologists, nephrologists; pick your favorite 'ologist' they’re just not there.”

IPM has been working to combat this issue by utilizing a 63 million patient, HIPAA compliant, clinical data set donated by the Cerner Corporation to develop predictive analytics tools.

“Ninety percent of medicine can be handled through AI platforms, if not more,” Paiva said. “As we continue to have fewer and fewer physicians, we need these technology layers and new workflow models to combat this trend. We need AI doctor assistants that can help offload some of their work in diagnosis, prognosis and documentation to deal with the physician shortage.”

The predictive analytic tool for diabetic retinopathy can predict a diabetic patient’s risk of diabetic retinopathy without having to visit the opthalmogogists, which are absent in rural markets, by analyzing a patient’s comorbidities, lab data and demographic information. This work with the Industrial Engineering department at OSU led to a NIH R01 grant award of $1.2 million. Throughout the history of OSU this is the second time to receive an NIH R01 award and the first for the Spears School of Business.

“Diabetic retinopathy is the No. 1 cause of blindness and only about a third of diabetics get their annual eye exam,” Paiva said. “It’s unfortunate because we have a 100% effective therapy for diabetic retinopathy if caught early enough.”

This tool uses an algorithm to predict the level of risk a patient has of developing diabetic retinopathy to prevent blindness caused by the disease. It is a real-world example of the power of digitized health information and IPM is creating a clinically relevant product which is ready to go to the market.

Work with TIL has produced a white paper about utilizing artificial and predictive intelligence technology to address the physician shortage in the United States.

The dean’s office secured resources for a new faculty member to be dedicated to the efforts of CHSI and IPM. In addition, TIL has provided funding to match the dean’s seat with two faculty members focused on data and health analytics.

These are tangible examples of how IPM is reaching their objectives in their Big Idea proposal.

“The health care industry finally has digitized data,” Paiva said. “We are sitting on one of the largest clinical data sets available, giving us a competitive advantage in building tools that others can’t right now. This is a shining example of what can be done at Oklahoma State University and our center. We’re really proud of it.”

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