Research Alert

Scientists from Ohio State University have created a new method for estimating the costs of foodborne illnesses by tapping into the valuable data recorded in electronic medical records. One of the advantages of their model is that, unlike past methods for estimating the costs of food poisoning incidents, it includes all potential acute and long-term health outcomes as well as features of the populations most susceptible to foodborne illnesses. “This population-specific data has been lacking in previous estimates, which can lead to biased results,” says Robert Scharff, a professor in the department of human sciences. “The increasing ease of managing and analyzing big data has made it feasible to estimate costs associated with pathogen-specific diagnoses of foodborne illness over several years.” Scharff will present the study, “Using electronic medical records to estimate the economic burden of foodborne illness,” on Dec. 7 at 2:15PM EST.