A Network-Based Approach to Understanding and Predicting Diseases
Pursuit of preventive healthcare relies on fundamental knowledge of the complex relationships between diseases and individuals. We take a step towards understanding these connections by employing a network-based approach to explore a large medical database. Here we report on two distinct tasks. First, we characterize networks of diseases in terms of their physical properties and emergent behavior over time. Our analysis reveals important insights with implications for modeling and prediction. Second, we immediately apply this knowledge to construct patient networks and build a predictive model to assess disease risk for individuals based on medical history. We evaluate the ability of our model to identify conditions a person is likely to develop in the future and study the bene_ts of demographic data partitioning.We discuss strengths and limitations of our method as well as the data itself to provide direction for future work.
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