By Karly Balslew
On March 21st, doctoral student Humayera Islam won the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Student Paper Competition award for the 2022 AMIA Informatics Summit that was held in Chicago. “It’s one of the biggest platforms for informatics people,” Islam said. “It’s very a very diverse and multidisciplinary platform where anybody that works in this area (informatics) can show their work.”
Students from across the country submitted papers for AMIA 2022 Informatics Summit. Submitted papers then went through a peer-review process before judges selected the top five best papers. These top five were chosen to compete in the student paper competition.
“These awards encourage students to keep working hard and it motivates them to work even harder for their future,” Islam said. “It was inspiring for me.”
The finalist presented their paper in front of a panel of judges along with a Q/A session. Islam was announced the winner during the opening session of the conference.
“She did well in demonstrating the concept computationally and visually,” said advisor Abu Mosa, Core Faculty of MU IDSI’s PhD program and Assistant Research Professor of Health Management and Informatics Department.
He explains that Islam’s paper entitled “A Federated Mining Approach on Predicting Diabetes-Related Complications: Demonstration Using Real-World Clinical Data” covered complex topics and if not explained properly, the concept can be confusing. She utilized infographics to aid her presentation.
“In general, this is a big achievement for our institution,” Mosa said.
Islam’s paper focused on data-driven machine learning that can aid Artificial Intelligence discoveries in healthcare sites. Hospital data is not easily sharable among other hospitals and to build a predictive modeling tool, researchers need to gather data from various geographical locations to gauge accurate population characteristics. To share this data, hospitals can join data networks but not all hospitals have access to these data networks.
“We are taking a transfer learning approach. We are not transferring any data but we’re transferring the knowledge that we generate by a mechanism called transfer learning,” Islam said.
With transfer learning, hospitals can access a larger pool of population data and conduct novel research on healthcare problems.
Humayera explains that one of the greater goals of this research is to one day facilitate the participation of siloed healthcare sites by building data-driven AI applications that can improve healthcare quality around the country.
“There’s a lot of hard work paying off and there’s a completeness that you feel when you put a lot of effort in submitting a paper and then the paper getting accepted. You feel great that you will be able to showcase your work to the community,” Islam said.
“This award is a testimony to the high-quality research conducted by MU IDSI’s PhD students and exceptional faculty mentorship” said Chi-Ren Shyu, Director of MU IDSI.
Humayera is passionate about addressing pressing healthcare problems and loves working with data. Her work focuses on reducing health disparities, improving healthcare outcomes, and conducting research that can benefit the greater good of society.
However, she could have not accomplished this achievement without the support of her advisor, lab mates and family members.
“My advisor has always been a great mentor, always going above and beyond to make sure I can deliver the best. I am very fortunate to have some amazing lab members whose feedback always helped shape my research and writing which increased the quality of my work significantly,” she said. “I am also thankful for my family and friends and their never-ending support and love.”