Georgia Tech and Emory Offer Predictive Health Track in M.S. Health Systems Degree

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | April 26, 2012

Contact

Holly Korschun
Emory University
404-727-3990
hkorsch@emory.edu

Barbara Christopher
Georgia Tech
404-385-3102
barbara.christopher@isye.gatech.edu

Story image
Predictive health involves creating a model of health using new tools of bioscience to identify and measure risks and deviations from health, to develop common processes that promote health maintenance. 

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University are partnering to offer a new master’s degree program track in predictive health that will prepare students to become leaders who can make a significant impact in the health sector for generations to come.

The new track in predictive health – a field of study that focuses on maintaining health rather than treating disease – will be within the existing Master of Science in Health Systems program, offered by the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) at Georgia Tech. The program, slated to begin in August 2012, consists of 30 semester hours that can be completed in one year.

In the program, students will learn how to analyze and model the risk factors in large, complex healthcare databases, as well as how to link clinical observations with medical knowledge to improve health care choices and decisions. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for leadership positions in the healthcare industry, capable of using quantitative and systems modeling to design, implement and manage continuously improving healthcare delivery. 

The new master’s program will also further the work of the Emory-Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute. The Center for Health Discovery and Well Being, a unit of the Predictive Health Institute, opened in 2007 and has since screened 700 participants, collecting approximately 2,000 data points per visit (initial, six month, one year, two year, three year, etc.) of health-related information. So someone who has been with the program for three years, for instance, will have approximately 10,000 data points in their history.

Georgia Tech students and faculty will analyze the collected data to understand the impact of the program. Such intensive analysis can be used to develop a model or algorithm for software that could potentially advance the understanding and implementation of predictive health programs. 

"Over the past decade, we have seen continuously increasing healthcare expenses, which unfortunately have not resulted in an overall improvement in people’s health status," says Pinar Keskinocak, Joseph C. Mello Professor in ISyE, director of research for the Health Systems Institute, and co-director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Logistics at Georgia Tech.

"Predictive health focuses on maintaining health rather than on treating disease. This involves using patient data and new tools to identify and measure risks and deviations from health, and to intervene before a disease or health failure occurs. Given the unique features of the data and problems under investigation, there is a tremendous need for educating students and for new research," Keskinocak added. 

This partnership was made possible by a grant from the George Family Foundation. 

For more information on the program, please contact Professor Keskinocak at pinar@isye.gatech.edu.