A sabbatical year for research and learning
With funding from his university and the Roux Institute, Mike Arciero dug into his research on Medicare—and discovered OHDSI.
Michael Arciero likes to keep his learning curve steep. This associate professor of mathematics from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, has carved a niche in data science, diving into machine learning and statistical modeling. When UNE and Northeastern’s Roux Institute agreed to fund his 2021–2022 sabbatical in Portland, he found himself right at home among data wranglers at the OHDSI Center.
Arciero’s research centers on predicting clinical risks and attendant costs for Medicare patients, an endeavor he says requires fine-tuning his analytics skills and statistical modeling techniques. Working with startup Medicare Pathfinders and Stillwater Supercomputing, Inc., his ultimate interest lies in maximizing the value of healthcare dollars spent by the U.S. government, hospitals and clinics, and private insurers. His chief collaborator is Gary Young, a professor at Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences and director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Research.
“I feel like a graduate student,” he jokes, reveling in an unexpected opportunity to tap the OHDSI Center’s rich vein of expertise and resources. Since bumping into center director Kristin Kostka on the Roux Institute campus, he has begun tinkering with HADES, OHDSI’s suite of software tools; taken online courses through the EHDEN Academy, OHDSI’s parallel organization in Europe; and joined working groups and weekly “Community Calls,” presentations on topics like causal inference and population-level estimation.
He’ll also look to the OHDSI team for help accessing more data for his Medicare project. OHDSI’s common data model, OMOP, “is just so important,” Arciero exclaims. Data scientists spend too much of their time cleaning up raw data stored in a jumble of formats he calls “crazy.”
Now that he’s grasped what a resource the OHDSI Center can be, Arciero will make his UNE colleagues aware of it. UNE has a big focus on healthcare and health sciences, including digital health and aging.