Theresa Walunas and Anika Ghosh to present lupus research at the ACR/ARHP 2018 conference

Theresa Walunas

CHIP’s Associate Director, Theresa Walunas, and Anika Ghosh, a Data Analyst at CHIP, have been selected to present research abstracts at the October 2018 American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Meeting. Their research focuses on utilizing electronic health record (EHR) data to diagnose Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease that presents differently from person to person and can be extremely difficult to diagnose correctly. Lupus can lead to increased risk of developing vascular complications and a host of other health issues, meaning early detection and treatment is important.

Patients’ EHR data provide a rich source of information that can be mined for lupus symptoms. Anika’s study focused on building an algorithm based on a diagnostic checklist for lupus, called SLICC Classification Criteria, that was run on a sample of lupus patients using EHR data from the Northwestern Medicine Electronic Data Warehouse. Using the algorithm on the EHR, 91% of the patients were correctly identified as having lupus.

Anika Ghosh

Theresa’s research took a similar approach to Anika’s and also focused on EHR data, but compared two different algorithms. One algorithm was based on SLICC Classification Criteria, and the other was based on ACR, which has different diagnostic criteria. Theresa’s findings show that both ACR and SLICC based EHR algorithms successfully detected lupus in the sample, but that the SLICC-based algorithm had a higher detection rate.

Theresa’s and Anika’s research have the exciting potential not only to reduce the time diagnose lupus, but also to identify any missed diagnoses. This can minimize the damage lupus can inflict and improve health outcomes.

To learn more, view Anika’s research abstract here and Theresa’s research abstract here.

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