Monday, October 27, 2014

Nell Greenfieldboyce's "Big Data peeks at your medical records to find drug problems"

NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce (I know, I thought it would be hyphenated as well) reports on Mini-Sentinel, an effort by the government to detect adverse side effects associated with prescription drugs as quickly as possible. Specifically, instead of waiting for doctors to voluntarily report adverse effects, they are mining data from insurance companies in order to detect side effects and illnesses being experienced by people on prescription drugs.

Topics covered by this story that may apply to your teaching:

1) Big data
2) Big data solving health problems
3) Data and privacy issues
4) Conflict of interest
5) An example of the federal government pouring lots of money into statistics to make the world a little safer
6) An example of a data and statistics being used in not-explicitly-statsy-data fields and occupations

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