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Big data, machine learning, and population health: predicting cognitive outcomes in childhood

Bowe, Andrea K. orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-1874-234X, Lightbody, Gordon orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-8155-0826, Staines, Anthony orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-9161-1357 and Murray, Deirdre M. orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-2201-9912 (2022) Big data, machine learning, and population health: predicting cognitive outcomes in childhood. Pediatric Research, 93 . pp. 300-307. ISSN 0031-3998

The application of machine learning (ML) to address population health challenges has received much less attention than its application in the clinical setting. One such challenge is addressing disparities in early childhood cognitive development—a complex public health issue rooted in the social determinants of health, exacerbated by inequity, characterised by intergenerational transmission, and which will continue unabated without novel approaches to address it. Early life, the period of optimal neuroplasticity, presents a window of opportunity for early intervention to improve cognitive development. Unfortunately for many, this window will be missed, and intervention may never occur or occur only when overt signs of cognitive delay manifest. In this review, we explore the potential value of ML and big data analysis in the early identification of children at risk for poor cognitive outcome, an area where there is an apparent dearth of research. We compare and contrast traditional statistical methods with ML approaches, provide examples of how ML has been used to date in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders, and present a discussion of the opportunities and risks associated with its use at a population level. The review concludes by highlighting potential directions for future research in this area.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Subjects:Computer Science > Machine learning
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health
Official URL:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-022-02137-1
Copyright Information:© 2022 The Authors.
Funders:Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Program, supported by the Welcome Trust and the Health Research Board (Grant Number 203930/B/16/Z), the Health Service Executive, NationalDoctors Training and Planning and the Health and Social Care, Research and
ID Code:27561
Deposited On:15 Aug 2022 14:56 by Thomas Murtagh . Last Modified 14 Mar 2023 15:57

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