Building bridges with IT
Chenyang Lu is not a civil engineer.
For a computer scientist, however, he builds a lot of bridges. In particular between the fields of IT and healthcare.
Lu is a Fullgraf Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington at the McKelvey School of Engineering in St. Louis. His research focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems and artificial intelligence, and he is particularly interested in how these technologies can improve healthcare.
As part of multiple teams of surgeons and doctors, Lu has tested Fitbit activity trackers in studies that have shown that these relatively inexpensive wearable devices can play a valuable role in improving health. patients.
âWe can collect data such as step count, heart rate and sleep cycles, which we use with our machine learning models to predict the deterioration or improvement in a patient’s condition. . Lu said. “These efforts demonstrate tremendous potential for wearable learning and machine learning to improve healthcare.”
Using data from Fitbits, for example, Lu and coworkers demonstrated their ability to predict the surgical outcome of pancreatic cancer patients with greater success than the current risk assessment tool.
The goal is to improve healthcare, but where some of the most difficult problems arise, Lu finds engineered solutions. Obstacles can include sub-par data or just not enough data to get useful information from portable devices.
âYou have to extract features using engineering techniques,â Lu said. âHow to harness that noisy and ugly data from portable devices and extract robust, predictive features to generate something clinically meaningful and informative so that can we actually predict something? “
Obtaining useful information from messy data is one of the reasons his colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine appreciate his partnership.
âChenyang has established himself as an expert in how to interpret and connect the dots of this large-dimensional data. That’s why I think he’s so prolific, âsaid Philippe payne, Professor Janet and Bernard Becker and Director of the Institute for Informatics, Associate Dean for Health Information and Data Science and Chief Data Scientist in the Faculty of Medicine.
He may be prolific, but Lu is eager to do more.
âWe can extend it to perfect the technology and broaden the reach so that it can be used on larger groups of different types of patients,â Lu said. âI look forward to collaborating with even more physicians and surgeons to extend this work. “