Neiman Institute and Georgia Tech Establish Health Economics and Analytics Lab

The ACR's Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute and the Georgia Institute of Technology announced a new five-year, $3 million research partnership to establish the Health Economics and Analytics Lab (HEAL) within Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. HEAL will focus on applying big data analytics and AI to large-scale medical claims databases—with a focus on medical imaging—to better understand how evolving health care delivery and payment models affect patients and providers.

"The HEAL will provide needed research to inform the national medical imaging policy debate and develop new approaches for improving population health," says Danny R. Hughes, PhD, executive director of the Neiman Institute and a Georgia Tech professor of economics, who will lead the lab. "Drawing on Georgia Tech's unparalleled strength in interdisciplinary research, the HEAL is uniquely positioned to exploit the vast stores of medical data now available to ensure we move toward a sustainable health care system."

The center aligns well with Georgia Tech's core research areas, says president G.P. "Bud" Peterson.

"At Georgia Tech, one of our fundamental missions is help solve society's most challenging questions," Peterson says. "Issues of population health, cost, and access to health care are certainly among the most complicated we face. I am certain Georgia Tech's strong emphasis on data engineering and public policy will provide a firm foundation for Dr. Hughes and the HEAL team."

The lab will support full-time postdoctorate researchers, graduate research assistants, and affiliated Georgia Tech faculty to produce both methodological and policy-oriented research. A secondary aim of HEAL is to provide training and mentorship to radiologists interested in performing research into health economics and health policy. Jacqueline Royster, dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, says the center will bring new possibilities for research and collaboration to Georgia Tech and the Neiman Institute.

"We are excited by the opportunities HEAL will bring to both organizations," she says. "This new lab will benefit from the enormous breadth of top-notch interdisciplinary expertise across Georgia Tech and in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, from economics, public, policy, and data analysis to artificial intelligence, engineering, and computer science."

In addition to financial support, the Neiman Institute will provide HEAL researchers access to their extensive data resources, including large-scale medical claims databases covering millions of US residents.

"This partnership provides a tremendous opportunity to leverage the Neiman Institute's policy expertise with the analytical capabilities of a world-class engineering institution to address the pressing problems of improving population health, increasing access to medical care, and reducing medical costs." says Geraldine McGinty, MD, chair of the ACR's Board of Chancellors.

— Source: ACR