Project on rural communities benefits from collaboration with Highmark Health

A project to better understand the issues facing rural communities and address a decline in American life expectancy is benefiting from a partnership between Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics Data Science Research. The Data Science Research group is supporting the project through its expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve healthcare understanding and outcomes.

Many rural Pennsylvania communities are seeing unique challenges related to the health of residents. Deaths related to heart and liver diseases, diabetes, accidental opioid overdose and suicide are rising in American small towns. Research suggests that disease development is related to social and economic conditions. For example, Pennsylvania has seen the peak and decline of several industries, including coal and steel.