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Investigators

David F. Schneider, MD, MS

David F. Schneider, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Surgery at the University of Wisconsin. Within the Section of Endocrine Surgery, he also serves as the Director of Endocrine Surgery Research. His research group is broadly interested in improving decision-making for surgical patients. Specifically, they use informatics tools to automate and improve decision-making at the point of care. Dr. Schneider is funded via the University of Wisconsin CTSA’s KL2 program to use natural language processing and machine learning tools to improve the diagnosis and treatment of indeterminate thyroid nodules. This research extracts critical features about thyroid nodules from the electronic medical record (EMR) in order to train algorithms that can predict whether a given nodule is cancerous or benign. This technology unlocks data that is otherwise “hidden” in parts of the EMR that cannot be readily converted into data for research.

Using similar technology, Dr. Schneider and his team are also analyzing patient language to automatically predict their health-related quality of life scores. Once perfected, these algorithms can derive a patient’s quality of life score from normal conversation rather than cumbersome surveys.

Dr. Schneider’s research team uses machine learning to make important predictions for patients with endocrine diseases. Examples include methods to automatically diagnose primary hyperparathyroidism from lab values found in the EMR, algorithms to improve postoperative thyroid hormone dosing, or streamlining the imaging workup for hyperparathyroidism.

The next phase of their work will characterize patterns of care in thyroid nodular disease and combine that EMR data with patient-reported outcomes to create a novel clinical decision support tools that enable patients to see longitudinal risks and benefits of any treatment decision.

Dr. Schneider’s Faculty Profile

Grant Funding

  • Machine Learning for Improved Treatment Selection of
    Indeterminate Thyroid Nodules
    • KL2 Scholars Program
    • NIH UL1TR000427 (UW CTSA) and NIH KL2TR000428
  • Central Surgical Association Foundation Turcotte Enrichment Grant
    • Central Surgical Association Foundation
    • Monetary amount: $10,000
  • Cancer Control Pilot Grant
    • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
    • Monetary amount: $25,000

Research Team

  • Joe Imbus, MD (Surgical Resident)

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