Data analysis seeks to better understand opioid epidemic

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The Regenstrief Institute is joining with, a cloud-based precision health vendor, to analyze data to uncover the factors that lead to substance use disorder, overdoses and drug-related deaths.

Under phase two of Indiana University’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, funding has been awarded to researchers to examine the trajectory of victims of the opioid epidemic.

“By making individual, group and population trajectories within the opioid epidemic understandable and explicit, our project enables insights into the various pathways that the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenges Initiative can affect,” says project leader Titus Schleyer, a Regenstrief research scientist and professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“This enhanced understanding can then be used to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of current interventions, and to devise new ones,” added Schleyer. “In addition to pointing out paths that could potentially be pursued to deal with the crisis, our project will also help identify where lack of data hampers our understanding of the epidemic.”

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Specifically, the research team will leverage the Indiana Addictions Data Commons—a collaboration between Regenstrief and stakeholders around the state to share information beyond the electronic health record—which includes both clinical and non-clinical data elements such as demographics and environmental factors.

According to Regenstrief, its partnership with will “serve as a platform for large-scale analyses and visualizations across data sources in the Indiana Addictions Data Commons and demonstrate the utility of this platform through models designed to help the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge measure its current impact and devise ways to further address the opioid epidemic.”

The goal of the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge is to reduce deaths from drug addiction, ease the burden of addiction on Indiana’s communities, as well as help to improve health and economic outcomes.

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