Big data: Research for stroke prevention

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Stroke is the second leading cause of mortality and the third leading cause of disability worldwide. Approximately one fifth of ischaemic strokes are caused by carotid artery stenosis, a narrowing of the large arteries that carry blood from the heart to the brain. There is current disagreement around whether carotid surgery should be offered routinely to individuals with carotid stenosis who have had no previous neurological symptoms.

This talk will involve a brief discussion on the rapidly evolving research field of ‘Big Data’, with a focus on stroke prevention studies. ‘Big Data’ research involves the use of large, population-scale data sets which are broadly focused, multi-dimensional, and highly heterogeneous. Studies often rely on data that has been collected for clinical or administrative purposes, such as hospital electronic records. The vast sample size of ‘Big Data’ research allows precise assessment of many risk factors with minimal patient follow-up. The background and design of three ‘big data’ studies on carotid artery disease will be presented.

About Dr Dylan Morris:
Dr Dylan Morris completed his medical internship at The Townsville Hospital in 2015, before moving to the UK in January to commence a DPhil at the University of Oxford. Dylan previously studied a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at James Cook University, Queensland with 1st Class Honours. He developed a keen interest in cardiovascular research and clinical trials while working at the Queensland Research Centre for Peripheral Vascular Disease. Dylan’s current research involves using big data sets to better understand the prevalence and risk factors of carotid artery disease, and its association with stroke. In addition, Dylan is assisting with the Asymptomatic Carotid Surgery Trial-2, and involved in a meta-analysis of completed clinical trials to clarify the role of surgery in managing asymptomatic carotid disease.

Dr Dylan Morris, 2015 Zelman Cowen John Monash Scholar
DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford

About The Change Agenda:
The inaugural John Monash Scholars’ Symposium, The Change Agenda: Leadership and Direction for Australia’s Future, was held in Oxford on 1 April 2016. The UK and Europe based John Monash Scholars used short bite size presentations to inform a conversation on global trends, and provoke discussion about appropriate responses to them. Each area of discussion, Drivers of Change, Our Human Response, Harnessing Technology, and Leading the Region,  included 5-6 presentations, was chaired by an eminent Australian and took questions from the floor.