Speaker: William Irish, PhD, MSc.
Presented from ECU
Broadcast Link: Seminar
Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with end stage renal disease. Currently, there are over 90,000 patients awaiting a kidney transplant (as of 1/23/2020). On average, 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month. The median wait time for an individual’s first kidney transplant is approximately 4 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility and availability of organs. Given the success of kidney transplantation, the demand far outweighs the supply.
In 2014 a new kidney allocation system was developed to increase equity in allocation of deceased donor kidneys, for highly sensitized candidates and ethnic minorities, and reduce the number of kidneys recovered but not used (often called the “discard rate”). To accomplish this, the new system prioritizes candidates based on “longevity matching” (better use of available kidneys) as well as sensitivity status and waiting time on dialysis.
Although the new system has improved equity, there are challenges. The models used for allocation of deceased donor organs are based on risk scores and predictions that have low predictive accuracy. Moreover, the discard rate remains high. Further work is needed to explore ways to improve the allocation system. We believe artificial intelligence may help given the complexity of the problem.
The goal of this talk is to present the clinical framework wherein artificial intelligence may provide a better solution.
William Irish, PhD MSc, is a Research Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Surgery and Co-Director of the Big Data & Analytic Research Cluster at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Dr. Irish has been involved in health-outcomes and clinical research both in academia and industry for over 25 years; applying various methods to evaluate the effectiveness of health care interventions on clinical and economic outcomes. Dr. Irish has collaborated with investigators internationally, implemented large-scale database analyses and directed analysis/programming teams. He specializes in outcomes research, clinical trial methodology, statistical modeling and prediction, and large-scale database and claims analyses. His major research interest consists of: (1) identification of important prognostic factors of disease progression and clinical outcomes, including validation of biomarkers; (2) developing statistical models and assessing their clinical utility; and (3) designing randomized controlled trials, specifically in low incidence/rare conditions with specific reference to subject enrichment strategies. Dr. Irish is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Transplantation and the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcome Research. Dr. Irish is currently Associate Editor for Clinical Transplantation.