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Objective: Questions of causality are fundamental inspirations behind innovations in philosophy, business, and science, including biomedicine. Answering causal questions leads to better predictive and prescriptive modeling. It is also the key to the correct identification of unknown effects as well as the latent factors that influence outcomes, and to produce hypotheses, validation, and proof.
Large-scale observational data offers a new window for verifying our existing causal understandings and for inferring new causal relationships at a fast pace. We are working to rethink the existing frameworks of causal inference in health sciences by introducing ideas from other scientific disciplines and by inventing new concepts and analytical methods.
CICT is a novel computational method that uses large-scale health data to predict potential causal relationships between clinical conditions, genes, proteins and other interacting factors. A pipeline for epidemiological etiological inference is also developed to validate the results of CICT. CICT and the validation pipeline have been used by different teams to identify latent risk factor and unknown effects of clinical conditions or procedures, which resulted in reporting of multiple novel findings during 2018-2019. Two large-scale population-level claims datasets from HCUP California and Florida have been used for discovery and validation. OHDSI will be used to empower the engine for the new phase.
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