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Urban Health Collaborative Partners with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Pediatric Big Data Project

February 27, 2017

The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative will leverage its robust environmental data capabilities in a joint project with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The UHC-CHOP team will use big data, machine learning, and traditional epidemiologic methods to investigate environmental, family and child-level predictors of pediatric health concerns, including asthma, obesity, and avoidable hospitalizations, as well as causes of disparities in these outcomes.

The project will utilize CHOP electronic health record (EHR) data from children residing in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, including individual-level clinical data as well as medication use and hospitalization data. The Drexel team will create a range of spatially-referenced environmental data that can be linked to individual-level patient data in order to investigate environmental health effects. Environmental data will include neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and measures of segregation, built environment characteristics including measures of food and physical activity environments, air pollution, pollen and traffic exposures, and features of the social environment such as crime and safety.

The project has a special emphasis on understanding the causes of inequities in pediatric outcomes by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic factors and neighborhoods. A novel aspect of the project is the leveraging of EHR linked to environmental data in order to answer important questions about etiology and prediction in clinical settings. Another unique aspect is the use of machine learning big data approaches jointly with traditional epidemiologic and statistical approaches.

The project team at the Urban Health Collaborative includes Ana V. Diez-Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, Kari Moore, MS, Steve Melly, MS, MA, Yvonne Michael, ScD, SM, Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, MPH, Anneclaire De Roos, PhD, MPH, Leah Schinasi, PhD, and Amy Auchincloss, PhD, MPH.

The Principal Investigator is Christopher Forrest, MD, PhD, professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Management at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The CHOP team includes L. Charles Bailey, MD, PhD, Chén C. Kenyon, MD, MSHP, Aaron Masino, PhD, and Claudia A. Salzberg, PhD, MSE. The Penn team includes John Holmes, PhD, FACE, FACMI, A. Russell Localio, JD, MA, MPH, MS, PhD, Michelle Ross, PhD, and Justine Shults, PhD.  The project is supported by the Commonwealth University Research Enhancement (C.U.R.E) program funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health – 2015 Formula award - - SAP #4100072543.