Big Data for Rehabilitation: Promises, Pitfalls and Future Potential
ASNR ANNUAL MEETING • NOVEMBER 10 – 11, 2016 • MARRIOTT MISSION VALLEY – SAN DIEGO, CA
Organized by Sook-Lei Liew, PhD, OTR/L & Steven Cramer, MD
A persistent challenge in rehabilitation research is the vast heterogeneity within clinical populations. This inter-individual variability makes it difficult to establish significance and reliably replicate findings of rehabilitation studies across smaller sample sizes. Large, diverse datasets (aka “big data”; e.g., n>1000) have the potential to drive rehabilitation research forward by providing the greater statistical power needed for robustly evaluating clinical hypotheses and validating findings from smaller studies. However, collecting, organizing, and analyzing such large amounts of data comes with a number of limitations and considerations. Here we present current applications of ‘big data’ approaches for rehabilitation research across both retrospective and prospective collections of behavioral, neuroimaging, and clinical outcomes data. In each talk, we provide a balanced approach to this topic, highlighting both the potential of ‘big data’ approaches for driving the rehabilitation field forward, as well as the challenges associated with properly implementing, analyzing and interpreting the results. In doing so, we aim to educate attendees about current methodologies and available tools for conducting big data analyses in rehabilitation. We also hope to provide a tempered, realistic view of the limitations of these approaches and ways to complement this approach with experimental approaches. While several of the applications presented here focus on stroke rehabilitation, we emphasize general methodologies and applications that can be related to many rehabilitation populations. Attendees will not only gain big picture insights into how large datasets can be used to further rehabilitation research, but they will also learn practical knowledge regarding what types of information are contained in various databases, how to access or contribute to them, and how to use these resources for their own questions and purposes.
Speakers: Steven Cramer, MD; Liam Johnson, PhD; Sook-Lei Liew, PhD, OTR/L; Keith Lohse, PhD; Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR