11.12.2018 | Reading time: 6 min

Nora Köberle (28), Digital Health Data Scientist at Vilua, reports.

When I explain what I do every day, many people are initially a little confused: “What? You can predict that I will have a slipped disc in three years? Of course, that’s not how it works. As a Digital Health Data Scientist, I systematically evaluate anonymized patient data and disease progressions and generate new knowledge from them, which also refers to statements about the future. However, these are statistical values. This means that I make patterns visible in millions of key figures and can say how high the probability is for a person to contract a certain disease in a certain period of time – if certain factors, such as age, weight, stress factors, occupation, previous illnesses come together. But this is only the first step. The real issue is what we can do with this knowledge: Namely, prevention, taking health-maintaining measures and trying to positively influence health in advance.

Nora Köberle 

Technically, we have reached a point where we can use this information from the many for the benefit of each individual patient and, best of all, already beforehand in health maintenance. We suddenly see medical and pharmaceutical interrelations, which we might never have discovered ourselves before. Possible risks can be identified much more quickly.

The basis for this is the health data. Actually, it is said that it almost doesn’t matter which data you have in front of you as a data scientist, because the statistical methods are always the same. But I quickly realized that it’s something different whether I work for an online shop or a bank, for example. Medical data is more complex and multi-layered. To get the right answers from the data sets, programs like R-Studio are my best friends and it helps a lot to master different programming languages. In addition, one is already aware that behind every piece of information there is a person who is not well or was not well.

It was therefore important to me to do something with data that helps people directly. With Vilua this is possible. For example, companies that want to do something for the fitness and well-being of their employees call us. We then work together with the individual employees who would like to do so and collect individual health information. As a result, we can give very targeted and meaningful recommendations that can really help the individual.

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