Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The site I'm building will make public health data more accessible. This means both findable and visualizable. Kai just came by my office and demonstrated a use case for both aspects of accessibility for this data.

Kai's task this morning is to put together a presentation which involves talking about the "long tail" of diseases: for every common disease that pharmaceutical companies target, there are a hundred orphan diseases. Pharmaceuticals typically ignore these because the revenues from a drug targeting an orphan disease are necessarily small.

A good graphic for Kai's presentation would be a classic long tail graph, with specific incidence rates filled in: possibly lung cancer on the left with a high incidence, tuberculosis in the middle with a vastly lower incidence, and Ebola at the real tail end. But how do you fill in the numbers for incidence of these diseases -- say, for the US, for a given year?
So pulling together incidence rates even for a presentation is hard, and if you wanted to do science it would be even harder to ensure that the same population was looked at. Googling this stuff is harder than you would think. It's fun doing something about this kind of use case.

1 comment:

angelina said...

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Have a nice day

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