The Health Informatics, Data Analytics, and Visualization (HiDAV) summer boot camp is a seven week program hosted by ENABLE, an extension of the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP) at UNC Chapel Hill. The boot camp seeks to expose underrepresented minority undergraduate students to principles of biomedical health informatics (BMHI), and encourage them to explore advanced training and careers in this field.

Over the course of the boot camp, students were introduced to a wide range of concepts such as predictive analysis using text mining, analytic model development related to machine learning, and data visualization. To help reinforce engagement and learning of these concepts, our boot camp students were tasked with working together to develop a research project using what they learned from the program, and applying it to an area of interest in healthcare and/or public health. At the end of boot camp, the students gave presentations on their projects and reflected on their experience in gaining critical BMHI skills:

Miguel Anderson and Joseph Fonseca presented their project, titled 'Sub-Topic Classification of HIV-related Opportunistic Infections,' which was established upon three core objectives of creating a predictive text analysis model that could: (1) identify opportunistic infections derived from exploratory analysis; (2) classify common opportunistic infections of immunocompromised patients; and (3) associate features of opportunistic infections to HIV patients. To achieve these objectives, they implemented a hybrid text model that used text mining to identify words related to opportunistic infections associated with HIV. Their model served as a precursory look into the possibilities of using text mining to improve surveillance of disease in target populations.

Kashley Rishforth and Paris Parsons presented on 'Opioid Treatments and the Adverse Effects,' which highlighted the need for provider and patient education in current opioid associated adverse effects. Their project involved the use of text mining software to fetch PubMed Abstracts for opioid and non-opioid related papers on pain management in the clinical setting. The project was done with the goal to provide an early recommendation on opioid-relevant documents to physicians to optimize patient outcomes.

Lastly, Dara Bradley, Kerani Davidson, and La’Presha Whitfield presented their project on 'Socioeconomic and Societal Effects on Influenza Rates in North Carolina.' Their project sought to understand the surveillance of influenza rates in the context of socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics, which are often left out of most traditional disease surveillance measures and reporting. Their hypothesis that diversity in socioeconomic status factors between North Carolina counties had a role in the diversity in rates of influenza reported in these counties was tested using analytic models to compare rates of influenza related to selected population attributes such as health insurance coverage, employment status and poverty level.

Overall, each project spoke as a testament to the diversity of our students in their interests and knowledge gained in biomedical health informatics and public health topics this summer. We hope to continue our success in teaching successive students through our next boot camp, which will begin next May of 2019. Interested students are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the ENABLE HiDAV boot camp, please contact Shikha Yadav, ENABLE Program Coordinator, by email (enable@unc.edu) or phone (919.962.2208).