Thursday, September 6, 2018

Physician Mario Barbé is back at Clínica Alemana, one of the premier hospitals in Santiago, Chile, where he is chief of a data analytics and artificial intelligence unit.

One of the first projects for this UNC Charlotte graduate alumnus is to use cluster analysis and machine learning to explore the hospital’s diabetic population.

“During this project, I will work with other physicians and public health specialists to characterize these populations and design health services accordingly,” said Barbé, the first person to complete an accelerated master’s degree in health informatics and analytics offered through UNC Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative. Clínica Alemana sponsored Barbé’s participation in the graduate program.

Barbé interned at UNC Charlotte this summer, and he used data science to solve clinical problems. He researched radiation therapy, analyzing valuable data that will provide guidance in terms of exposure amounts and potential damage to organs. He noted that this past year at UNC Charlotte will be integral to advancing his work at Clínica Alemana.

“Mario was an exemplary student. During his internship, he skillfully combined his background as a physician with the data science methods that he learned throughout the graduate program. His systematic analysis of predictive models for radiation therapy planning will provide important insights into best strategies for further improving planning and treatment quality,” said Yaorong Ge, a professor of software and information systems in the College of Computing and Informatics and director of UNC Charlotte’s Health Informatics Laboratory.

Josh Hertel, director of the University’s Data Science Initiative, said, “Dr. Barbé illustrates the best of what our program offers students. He brought several years of clinical experience into the classroom that served to ground the technical and theoretical aspects of health informatics in real-world applications. Health informatics and analytics are about using data to discover efficiencies and solutions to improve patient outcomes. Mario sees data through the eyes of a doctor treating patients, translating the insights derived from clinical data in solutions.”