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Penn State National Science Foundation Center for Health Organization Transformation
(Penn State CHOT) - An Industry-University Cooperative Research Center
February 2019
Penn State CHOT Research Highlights     
Penn State CHOT Scholars are conducting research to find advancements in public health. Here are some highlights on their projects:  
Associate Professor of Supply Chain & Information Systems Hui Zhao, Ph.D. candidate Liang (Leon) Xu, and undergraduate Eric Wang are exploring different treatments of opioid misuse and their efficacy. 

Each day, more than 115 Americans die due to overdosing on opioids. Opioid misuse has become a national crisis that devastates U.S. public health, communities, and labor forces. To combat the opioid crisis, the Substance Abuse Treatment Services (SATS) facilities across the country are providing the very much needed treatments and counseling to opioid misusers. The objective of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the different opioid-related treatments provided by these facilities by analyzing the national survey data on SATS facilities, opioid-related hospitalization, and mortality. Their preliminary analysis suggests that the more SATS facilities available in a state would lead to a less mortality rate in the state. Right now, Zhao, Xu, and Wang are conducting more analyses to calibrate and quantify this effect.

Dr. Steven Schiff, medical student Mallory Peterson, and two undergraduates, Jiaming Chai and Wendy Wang, are executing a study concerning ultrasounds and central nervous system infections.

The research team has been working on processing approximately 600 neonatal neural ultrasound scan sets to create a database of homogeneous sets that can be analyzed by a convolutional neural network. These sets each describe a neonate from Uganda with a central nervous system infection. Currently, they are working on sequencing the genomes of the pathogens behind these infections in order to label their ultrasound sets appropriately. In the future, Dr. Schiff, Peterson, Chai, and Wang plan to pre-process their scan sets by using techniques such as de-hazing and removal of features that are not of interest. Once this is complete, they will be able to train a neural network to identify an infectious agent simply by analyzing a set of ultrasound scans. The research team is also working on using similar algorithms to determine definitive volume curves from an National Institutes of Health's MRI database in order to provide an invaluable health care tool for surgeons, pediatricians, and researchers.


Upcoming Event
Spring 2019 IAB Meeting
Hosted by Penn State & Siemens Healthineers

Date: Wed., April 3, 2019 and Thurs., April 4, 2019
Location: Penn State Great Valley Campus, Auditorium
30 Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355

More information about the event can be found here.