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August 26, 2011
School of Engineering, Bengaluru

Dr. Sandhya Joshi at the Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Mysore campus, helps doctors with the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. But she is not a medical professional.

This computer scientist with expertise in data mining help doctors by using interdisciplinary methods including statistical analysis, artificial intelligence and database management to mine useful information from large datasets.

Dr. Sandhya

Sharing her expertise and also learning from other scholars in the field, Dr. Sandhya was recently at Amrita’s Bengaluru campus, to participate in a national seminar on Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery in Medical Data.

The seminar was organized by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and sponsored by the Indian Council for Medical Research. It attracted participation from all over India.

“Medical databases have recently accumulated large volumes of information about patients and their medical conditions,” stated Dr. P. S. Jaganathan, PSNA College of Engineering, in his keynote address. “Examining relationships and patterns in this data is helping provide new insights and new medical knowledge.”

Dr. P. S. JaganathanToday, results from MRI scans, ECG check-ups and blood tests results in clinical information such as blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, as well as physician interpretation of this data, to be readily available in medical databases.

Such databases are also part of the Amrita Hospital Information System used in the 1450-bed super-specialty hospital, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi. The system, which recently obtained a US patent, is now being deployed in several big hospitals all over India.

It is in such a scenario that data mining is being used to conduct research in medical sciences, where it is helping discover formerly unknown patterns and relationships in large datasets.

It is beginning to play an important role in unearthing useful and often times, unexpected information. Doctors are today seeing it as a powerful tool for the prediction, classification and diagnosis of various killer diseases.

“Data mining, through analyzing data trends is helping pharmaceutical companies to better design clinical trials,” noted Ms. Puspita Roy, Project Data Manager, Ecron Ecunova, speaking on Data Mining in the Pharmaceutical Industry at the seminar.

“Clinical research organizations also benefit from it, in preparing feasibility reports before the start of a new study,” she added.

Prof. S. Nandagopalan from Bangalore Institute of Technology, speaking on Echo Cardio Graphic Image Analysis, stated, “A Computer Aided Analysis (CAA) system is developed based on data mining techniques to interpret the echo images and provide clinically relevant information to cardiology specialists for decision making.”

Sri. Shirish ShevadeSri. Shirish Shevade, Associate Professor, IISc Bangalore, who spoke on Machine Learning Algorithms in Medical Applications, noted that due to sophisticated electronic data acquisition methods, medicine is increasingly becoming a data-rich field.

Finally, Amrita’s Dr. Sandhya Joshi lectured on Data Mining and Applications in Neuro Degenerative Disorders.

Describing her recent research, she stated, “Based on the outcome of classification accuracies, various management and treatment strategies for moderate and severe Alzheimer’s disease were elucidated, which could be of enormous use for the medical professionals in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Mr. Vijayakumar S., Associate Professor, Department of Information Technology, RMK Engineering College, was one of several delegates who participated in the seminar.

Congratulating the Amrita team for organizing the seminar, he shared, “It was an interesting and informative session. The speakers were outstanding. It was time well spent.”

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