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Penn Medicine researchers develop algorithm to predict cancer mortality to spur better end-of-life discussions

November 12, 2019 / Heather Landi

In a study testing the effectiveness of the algorithm, published in JAMA Network Open, the researchers found 51% of the patients designated as “high priority” were deceased six months after being evaluated compared to just 4% of those identified as “low priority.” The research team developed a machine-learning algorithm tied to oncology patients' outpatient medical records that identifies patients who would benefit most from a timely conversation about their end-of-life goals and wishes, said Parikh, who is also an instructor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and a staff physician at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center.