Article ID: CBB005586875

Making Sense of Aging with Data Big and Small (Spring 2019)


Dodge, Hiroko H. (Author)
Estrin, Deborah (Author)

The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Volume: 49
Issue: 1
Pages: 39-46

Publication Date: Spring 2019
Edition Details: Issue Theme: Technologies for Aging
Language: English

All people are uniquely endowed at birth by genetic and environmental conditions; by the time they enter their last decades, they have a lifetime of differentiation that determines their state of health and response to new events and conditions. This cumulative differentiation creates substantial intraindividual variability in the rate of aging as well as the extent of resistance and resilience to pathological insults. Therefore, applying normative group data such as group means or median thresholds often fails to accurately identify and predict an individual’s clinical state and prognosis. There are two ways to cope with this high intraindividual variability. One is to use “big data,” which consists of a large number of subjects to improve the prediction algorithm. Another is to use each subject as their own universe to identify subtle changes or deviations from their premorbid stage. Rich temporal data from a single person—what we call “small data”—can be used for the individual’s tailored diagnosis, disease management, and health behavior. Using such data for patient care, self-care, sustained independence, and research involves access to, processing, and interpretive use of an individual’s combined data streams over time.

Associated with

Article Kaye, Jeffrey A. (Spring 2019) Technologies Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population. The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering (pp. 3-5). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Shi, Yong
Rowe, Josh
He, Jing
Liu, Xiaohui
Huang, Guangyan
Blumenstein, Michael
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Princeton University
University of Minnesota Press
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
MIT Press
Technology and society
Computers and computing
Information technology
Big data
Computers--social aspects
Data collection; methods
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
United States
Commonwealth countries
European Union

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