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Team harnesses artificial intelligence to reduce impact of adverse childhood events

A Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health research and entrepreneurship team is working together to mitigate the effects of traumatic childhood events by using artificial intelligence (AI). They are partnering with Penn State students and Gramener, a data science consulting company, to identify risk factors and health disparities related to adverse childhood events (ACE).

Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewski, director of Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute and vice chair for research in the Department of Medicine, said that understanding where evidence-based interventions and resources may be deployed to best address health disparities in ACE is an important step toward protecting children and their future health.

“We know that people who suffered from ACE have higher rates of many physical and mental health conditions, impacting their health across their lifespan,” Kraschnewski said. “As a primary care physician, I encounter patients in every clinic who struggle with the downstream consequences of ACE. Understanding how to prevent these events in childhood is important to improving the health of our communities.”

Kraschnewski is part of the team that worked on the project, along with Kevin Harter, associate dean for medical innovation and professor of practice in entrepreneurship. The team were finalists in the 2021 Nittany AI Challenge.

“AI would allow us to leverage the value of our very limited resource, which is our health care staff,” Harter said. “This project is just the beginning, and AI is now a pillar of the College of Medicine strategic plan.”

Read more about the project on Penn State News

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