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Stat

Researchers at MIT and other institutions have developed an artificial intelligence tool that can analyze changes in nighttime breathing to detect and track the progression of Parkinson’s disease, reports Casey Ross for STAT. “The AI was able to accurately flag Parkinson’s using one night of breathing data collected from a belt worn around the abdomen or from a passive monitoring system that tracks breathing using a low-power radio signal,” writes Ross.

New Scientist

Professor Eric Alm speaks with Claire Ainsworth at New Scientist about studying wastewater to better understand the health, wealth and environment of various communities. “It’s not about going in and taking a measurement,” said Alm. “It’s about developing a platform that can help you reach insights about what’s going on.”

U.S. News and World Report

Researchers at MIT have found that “for every nine adults who gained access to Medicaid in Oregon due to a special due to a special enrollment lottery, one previously eligible child was added to the rolls as well,” reports Dennis Thompson for U.S. News & World Report. The lottery “enabled us to look at the questions of what happens to children of adults who win the lottery, compared to children of adults who don’t win the lottery,” says Prof. Amy Finkelstein.  

Forbes

Prof. Andrew Lo speaks with Forbes contributor Russell Flannery about his work using finance to help lower the cost of drug development for cancer treatment and therapies. “I started thinking about how we could use finance pro-actively to lower the cost of drug development, increase success rates, and make it more attractive for investors,” says Lo. “Because that's really what the issue is: you need investors to come into the space to spend their billions of dollars in order to get these drugs developed.”

The Boston Globe

CAMP4, a startup founded by Prof. Richard Young, is developing a new class of RNA-based therapies to treat genetic diseases, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe. The “startup’s experimental approach will allow it to dial up the output of genes to treat genetic diseases, with an initial focus on a severe form of epilepsy and life-threatening live diseases,” writes Cross.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniela Hernandez spotlights the work of Media Lab Research Scientist Andreas Mershin in developing sensors that can detect and analyze odors. Mershin “is focusing on medical applications of olfaction technology. Inspired by dogs that have demonstrated an ability to sniff out malignancies in humans, he’s working on an artificial-intelligence odor-detection system to detect prostate cancer.”

Bloomberg

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Bloomberg Washington Correspondent Joe Mathieu about Affordable Care Act funding and the future of healthcare. It’s both about making these premiums more affordable for the lowest income people and giving middle-income people access to this important government program, says Gruber.

Reuters

Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi oversaw a study which found that people of color were given significantly less supplemental oxygen than white people because of inaccuracies in pulse oximeter readings, reports Nancy Lapid for Reuters. “Nurses and doctors make the wrong decisions and end up giving less oxygen to people of color because they are fooled [by incorrect readings from pulse oximeters],” says Celi.

Stat

A study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that algorithms based on clinical medical notes can predict the self-identified race of a patient, reports Katie Palmer for STAT. “We’re not ready for AI — no sector really is ready for AI — until they’ve figured out that the computers are learning things that they’re not supposed to learn,” says Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

Fast Company

Rob Morris PhD ’14 has dedicated his career to easing access to mental health services online, reports Shalene Gupta for Fast Company. “When you search for a flight on Google, you get directed to these options that make you instantly buy a flight,” he says. “The interface is beautiful. But when you look up mental health, it’s not great. I want to do for mental health what Google did for flights.”

BBC

Prof. Lydia Bourouiba speaks with BBC CrowdSource presenter Marnie Chesterton about her work in understanding how bodily fluids such as snot and spittle spread after leaving the body using high speed cameras.  “What is very clear is that we emit… droplets of a continuum of sizes but they are not coming out alone,” explains Bourouiba. “They are coming out with an air that is in our lungs, that is hot and moist and turbulent, which changes the physical dynamics of the emission and how the drops will evolve.”

The Daily Beast

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have created an artificial intelligence program that can accurately identify a patient’s race based off medical images, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The reason we decided to release this paper is to draw attention to the importance of evaluating, auditing, and regulating medical AI,” explains Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

Stat

During the AI Cures Conference, Prof. Regina Barzilay spoke with Food and Drug Administration senior staff fellow Amir Khan about how the agency intends to regulate artificial intelligence in medicine, reports Casey Ross for STAT.  “’My thinking is that models should be regulated based on their functionality, and not necessarily on the input data they use,” said Barzilay. 

Stat

J-PAL research manager Jesse Gubb writes for STAT about how voluntary innovation tests can lead to providers favoring profitable programs over what is best for patients and can make potential reforms harder to evaluate. “The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is in the rare position of being empowered to develop innovative payment models and prospectively evaluate them,” writes Gubb. “Mandatory, national randomized evaluations ensure that the already significant effort to develop the models will yield the rigorous evidence needed to support decisions on whether to scale and adopt them broadly.”

GBH

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Boston Public Radio hosts Margery Eagan and Jim Braude about his experience working on the Affordable Care Act over twelve years ago, and how he thinks health coverage can be improved moving forward.