Even as population health improves and longevity increases around the globe, there will always be more biomedical problems than solutions. Strategically prioritizing and allocating the limited societal resources to discover and develop cost-effective pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other diagnostics for diseases and medical conditions with the highest return on investment motivates many governmental and private funding agencies, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, clinicians and scientists. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the biomedical research ecosystem and the scarcity of relevant data, no systematic studies have been done to comprehensively survey the past allocation of resources (i.e., funding, attention from the scientific community, clinical development) or guide the future redistribution of resources for maximal societal benefit. The goal of this project is to create a health research opportunity index (health ROI), an innovative quantitative measure to gauge the imbalance between the disease burden associated with a particular disease or medical condition as a whole and the resources allocated to it over time. The project has the following specific aims: 1) collect data on key measurable factors related to biomedical research resource allocation; 2) develop and evaluate quantitative models; and 3) build a visualization tool to represent and interpret high- dimensional data. More specifically, sophisticated text mining and terminology-mapping methods will be developed to identify and quantify seven key factors in biomedical research ecosystem (i.e., burden of disease, focus of the scientific community, clinical development popularity, current availability of diagnostics and medicine, funding, attention from public media and intellectual property protection). By integrating this data, the health ROI will be calculated for about 1,400 medical conditions over a 10-year period, and ignored niches will be identified for future research. The high-dimensional data and results will be represented and delivered to various stakeholders along the healthcare value chain using an interactive visualization tool to facilitate their decision making. In additio to advancing the field of health policy and management and position, this career development award will position the principal investigator as an independent researcher at the intersection of informatics and public health.

Public Health Relevance

Today?s world faces a growing population along with limited resources for healthcare andresearch; creating a need to better understand how these resources can be allocated to bestbenefit society. This project will create a health research opportunity index (health ROI) thatsystematically examines multiple data sources over time. Our goal is to determine the burden ofdiseases in the US and calculate the (mis)alignment between biomedical research and diseaseburdens across the entire disease landscape; and to enable stakeholders to better distributeresources and prioritize efforts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee (BLR)
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Sim, Hua-Chuan
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Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Other Domestic Non-Profits
United States
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Huang, Ming; ElTayeby, Omar; Zolnoori, Maryam et al. (2018) Public Opinions Toward Diseases: Infodemiological Study on News Media Data. J Med Internet Res 20:e10047
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