Individual choices in medicine carry a certain amount of uncertainty. An innovative partnership at The University of Texas at Austin takes aim at medicine down to the individual level by applying state-of-the-art computation to medical care.
“Medicine in its essence is decision-making under uncertainty, decisions about tests and treatments,” said Radek Bukowski, MD, PhD, professor and associate chair of Investigation and Discovery in the Department of Women’s Health at Dell Medical School at UT Austin.
“The human body and the healthcare system are complex systems made of a vast number of intensely interacting elements,” he said. “In such complex systems, there are many different pathways along which an outcome can occur. Our bodies are robust, but this also makes us very individualized, and the practice of medicine challenging. Everyone is made of different combinations of risk factors and protective characteristics. This is why precision medicine is paramount going forward.”
To that effect, in the January 2021 edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology, experts at Dell Med, Oden Institute for Computational and Engineering Sciences (Oden Institute), and Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), along with stakeholders across healthcare, industry, and government, stated that the emergence of computational medicine will revolutionize the future of medicine and health care. Craig Cordola of Ascension and Christopher Zarins of HeartFlow co-authored this editorial review with Bukowski and others.
According to Bukowski, this interdisciplinary group provides a unique combination of resources that are poised to make Texas a leader in providing computational solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s health care issues.
“At UT Austin we’re fortunate to have found ourselves at a very opportune point in time for computational medical research,” Bukowski said. “The Oden Institute has world-class expertise in mathematical modeling, applied math, and computational medicine; TACC is home to the world’s largest supercomputer for open science, and also committed to improving medical care, including outcomes for women and babies.”