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Illinois ECE alumnus develops technology to improve prognoses for depression


Joseph Park, Illinois ECE

Arjun Athreya (PhD '18)
Arjun Athreya (PhD '18)
Illinois ECE alumnus Arjun Prasanna Athreya (PhD '18) is developing technology that will help improve treatments for people who are diagnosed with depression. According to an article from the Mayo Clinic Magazine, Athreya is the inaugural doctoral graduate of the Mayo Clinic and University of Illinois Alliance for Technology-Based Healthcare Fellowship program. As a new Mayo Clinic faculty and staff member within Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the engineer is ready to make waves within healthcare.

Athreya developed a system for Mayo Clinic that implemented an artificial intelligence approach including machine learning and probabilistic graphs to improve treatment prognoses in people diagnosed with depression. According to Mayo Clinic, depression is the leading cause of medical disability worldwide.

Athreya's system works by "identifying patterns within patient history and other relevant data to predict which treatment option" would be optimal for the patient.

"In working with physicians, I learned that finding a diagnosis or treatment prognosis for a complex condition using the huge volumes of data generated from each patient can be like searching for a needle in the haystack," said Athreya to the Mayo Clinic Magazine. "I try to create a magnifying glass to narrow the possibilities down and support the physician's medical expertise."

Read more from the Mayo Clinic Magazine here.