UNC Charlotte's Master's Candidate, Mario Barbe, First to Complete Accelerated Program and Bring Clinical Bioinformatics Capabilities to Clinica Alemana in Chile

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Barbé finds future in pairing medicine and data science to respond to health care challenges

UNC Charlotte’s Health Informatics student, Mario Barbé, M.D., has completed his master’s degree in Health Informatics. Through the sponsorship of his employer, Clínica Alemana, Barbé was able to participate in a program made available through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative. The completion of the program allows him to return to his work with the necessary skills needed to advance the health informatics efforts at Clínica Alemana. Clinica Alemana is one of the premier hospitals in Chile and is committed to developing data science methodologies to transform healthcare.


“Dr. Barbé illustrates the best of what our program offers students. He brings several years of clinical experience into the classroom which serves to ground the technical and theoretical aspects of the Health Informatics in real world applications.” said Josh Hertel, director of the Data Science Initiative. “Health Informatics and Analytics at its core is about using data to discover efficiencies and solutions to improve patient outcomes.  Mario sees data through the eyes of a doctor treating patients, translating the insights derived from clinical data in solutions.”


As a part of the program, Barbé completed an internship at UNC Charlotte this summer in which he used data science to solve clinical problems. Barbé researched radiation therapy, analyzing valuable data that will provide guidance in terms of exposure amounts and potential damage to organs. "Mario is an exemplary student. During his internship, he skillfully combined his physician background with the data science methods that he learned throughout the graduate program. His systematic analysis of predictive models for radiation therapy planning will provide important insights into best strategies for further improving planning and treatment quality," said Dr. Yaorong Ge, Professor, Software and Information Systems at the College of Computing and Informatics and Director of UNC Charlotte’s Health Informatics Laboratory.

“Spending this past year studying at UNC Charlotte has been an invaluable experience,” said Barbé. I’ve had the flexibility to develop my own approach which now provides me with the skill set to bring back to Clínica Alemana.”  Dr. Barbé recently returned to Chile where he will build a data driven unit inside the Health Informatics at Clínica Alemana in Santiago. The group will focus on the analysis of the electronic healthcare record data and the development models that will help the clinicians improve the quality of care provided.