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Workshop on Big Data in Health Policy, March 23-27, 2015

March 23, 2015 @ 8:00 am - March 27, 2015 @ 5:00 pm EDT

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The Big Data thematic program continues next week with a workshop on Big Data for Health Policy; March 23-27, 2015. It will open at 10:00 am on Monday, March 23 with a panel presentation on causal inference. See the workshop poster – [PDF]

Specifically, the program will feature presentations and short workshops from statisticians, health policy researchers, and government representatives to examine topics related to the use of large, observational datasets in health policy research. 

Areas of focus include (a) enabling/disabling factors in the use of large databases in health policy contexts, (b) causal inference techniques, (d) combining databases and the use of data synthesis/meta-analytic techniques, (e) presentation and visualization of information. Examples will be drawn from pharmacoepidemiology, health services, public health, and health economics.

The workshop will use panel sessions, short workshops, presentations, and small-group discussions to address the workshop themes. 

Registration Open!

Schedule – Monday March 23

9:00-9:30 On site registration and morning coffee
9:30-10:00 Welcome and overview of the week by Program Committee
10:00-12:00 Panel Presentation + Q & A
Big Data, Causal Inference, and Health Policy: An Overview

Michael Schull, Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Mark Smith, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Recent challenges (and opportunities) of working with “Big Data” in health research
Arlene Ash, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Seeking needles of health wisdom in haystacks of big data
12:00-1:30 Lunch break
1:30-2:30 Jonas Peters, Seminar für Statistik, Departement Mathematik, Zurich, Switzerland (Remote Lecture)
Graphical models/visualization
2:30-3:00 Tea break
3:00-4:00 Mahmoud Azimaee, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Mark Smith, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Emerging data quality assessments of administrative data for use in research
4:00+ Reception with cash bar

Tuesday March 24

9:15-9:30 Welcome and IntroductionsProgram Committee
9:30-10:30 Patrick Heagerty, University of Washington
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Constantine Gatsonis, Brown University
Diagnostic test assessment using large databases
12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Xiaochun Li, Indiana University School of Medicine
EMR² : Evidence Mining Research in Electronic Medical Records Towards Better Patient Care
2:30-3:00 Break
3:00-4:00 Michael Wolfson, University of Ottawa
Pretty Big Data and Analysis to Understand the Relative Importance of Health Determinants – HealthPaths

Wednesday March 25

9:30-9:45 Welcome and Introductions Program Committee
9:45-12:00 Workshop: 
Peter Austin, University of Toronto
Propensity score methods for estimating treatment effects using observational data
12:00-1:15 Lunch
1:15-2:00 Dan ChateauUniversity of Manitoba
Implementing a research program using data from multiple jurisdictions: The Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES)
2:00-3:00 Cory Zigler, Harvard University
Uncertainty and treatment effect heterogeneity in comparative effectiveness research
3:00 -3:30 Break & End of day
NOTE: Andrew Lo (MIT) will be presenting a special invited session at 3:30 on the topic of Big Data in Finance

Thursday March 26

9:15-9:30 Welcome and Introductions by Program Committee
9:30-12:30 Workshop: 
Erica Moodie, McGill University
Marginal structural models
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Elizabeth Stuart, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Using big data to estimate population treatment effects
2:30-3:00 Break
3:00-4:00 Hau-tieng Wu, University of Toronto
Online and adaptive analysis of dynamic periodicity and trend with heteroscedastic and dependent errors — with clinical applications

Friday March 27

9:15-9:30 Welcome and Introductions Program Committee
9:30-10:30 Danica Marinac-Dabic, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:45 David Henry, IHPME and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Being realistic about how Big Data can support health and health policy research
12:00-1:00 Closing session by Lisa Lix


Organizing Committee
Lisa Lix (Chair)
Constantine Gatsonis
Sharon-Lise Normand
Therese Stukel



March 23, 2015 @ 8:00 am EDT
March 27, 2015 @ 5:00 pm EDT
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The Fields Institute
222 College Street
Toronto, M5T 3J1
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