Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Predicting Diseases

This article as the title suggests, is a brief description of how predictive analytics could determine if/when you will get Alzheimer’s disease. The researches have a web tool they plug the information in to predict events. Also, to predict other diseases researches are supporting an initiative that would use DNA fingerprints to enhance predictions.
            Having patients insert data about themselves and then running that through an Internet based web tool is progressive thinking and could be affective. A way to stimulate the economy but at the same time help the world would be to sell this tool to doctor’s offices. As a patient visits the doctor for their yearly physical they will have the option to put their information through this tool. Previous records of patients could be used but updated information is more accurate. Along with this a doctor’s office could have a database that makes relationships between symptoms and Alzheimer’s to make more in-depth predictions about disease.
            DNA fingerprinting to predict neurological disorders is possible but seems expensive and time consuming. The Internet tool previously mentioned seems more affective. With that being said, once software or other tools are created it would be extremely efficient to have. While still being useful it will also be dangerous as most technology has the possibility to be. If everybody participates in this program then their personal information could be hacked or tampered with. Also, this would still be a prediction so it might not work 100% of the time. That could cause serious consequences and even death.
            The article more specifically states that DodoNA will test 1,000 patients from NorthShore for eleven studies. Although the initiative is promising, are 1,000 patients enough to make a predication on something as serious as these diseases? Also, because all of the patients are from NorthShore there could be bias results therefore an unsuccessful study.
            I feel as if the article overlooked the privacy of the population, applying this concept to the real world efficiently, and how the study would work with random people.

Citation: Bazzoli, Fred. "Predictive Analytics vs Alzheimer's: Clinical Center Examines the Data." Information Management. SourceMedia, 21 Aug. 2015. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.  


  1. I think it is great to see technology come this far today, but I honestly do not like this idea. Personally, as a college student or even when I'm a bit older, I do not want to think about this disease let alone know if and when I will get it. For example, if I were to get tested and doctors informed me that I will get Alzheimer’s disease by the time I'm around 80 years old, I'll spend a good portion up until that point, worrying. I'll worry about it if and when I actually get it.

    I do agree with you about selling these to doctor's offices and hospitals. They can make the manufacturers and hospitals a lot of money, as well as give a new option to patients who are coming in. Even though it's a new, innovative thing, it has its ups and downs and I would not take the test.

  2. I believe it is useful for a drug to predict when or if someone will get Alzheimer's. But wouldn't it be even better if a drug could PREVENT this mental disease? A company called Pfizer is working a such a drug that can help prevent effects of this mentally
    decaying disease. Fingerprinting is unrelated to brain activity and will not help prevent or predict effects of the disease. A drug that can increase growth of chemicals in the brain that will prevent memory loss would be a more realistic drug.

  3. While I agree that this data is now becoming easier to obtain and more readily available for patients, I do not think that selling this tool to offices is a good idea. Yes, it allows for updated information to be communicated to various doctor’s offices that the individual goes to. And yes it could stimulate the economy be entering a new market. Both of these factors are undoubtedly positive, but the dangers of hackers and knowledge being leaked to unwanted sources could be quite damaging for the patient. If a hacker get a hold of someone’s personal information, not only is that a violation of a person’s privacy, but it also violates the HIPPA law, which states that under federal law, medical records are considered confidential information. Further, if Insurance companies were able to get ahold of this information, whether it be through hacking, they pay to obtain this information, or this information is readily available to them through the program, it could hurt the patient’s chances of coverage. If these companies see that genetic testing has been done on a patient and find out that a patient tests positive for say, Alzheimer’s or cancer or any other serious condition, it could result in the denial of coverage or inflated rates. This causes a person to be put into a position no one should have to make. He or she is now forced to make the decision: do I get testing done and take steps to lower my risk of developing a disease I already have an elevated risk for, or do I play the odds so that way I can ensure I have health insurance or I can afford my health insurance? In my opinion, this is a decision that no one should have to make. For this reason, I do not believe that this technological advancement is beneficial, Personally, I do not feel that the small benefits of sharing this information has on the economy or updated version of a person’s medical records outweigh the serious risks that could have on a person’s insurance coverage potential.



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