Professor earns Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to study data analytics and AI in healthcare in Morocco

May 26, 2022

Rachida Parks

Rachida Fachtal Parks, associate professor of computer information systems at Quinnipiac, earned a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award and will travel to Morocco this fall to study data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) and explore how they are used to improve quality and safety in healthcare.

Parks will work with researchers at the Hassan II University of Casablanca School of Medicine’s Medical Informatics Center as part of her study, “An Investigation Into Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Operationalization in Healthcare; A Socio-Technical, Interdisciplinary and Multi-Method Approach.”

“With healthcare organizations becoming more data driven, analytics and AI can help leaders and clinicians make informed and personalized decisions when treating patients,” Parks said. “Processing complex CT scans images, developing analytical models to predict patients with high risk, or reducing readmission rates are only a few examples of the incredible impact analytics and AI can have on improving healthcare delivery.”

The healthcare business analytics market is forecasted to grow from $14 billion in 2019 to $50.5 billion by 2024. Analytics provide stakeholders the ability to go beyond improving profits to enabling predictive modeling of disease, reducing preventable deaths and improving quality of life.

“While healthcare providers and executives have expertise in providing care and dealing with healthcare issues, they typically are not well versed on data analytics and the capabilities of AI,” Parks said. “On the other hand, while data scientists are savvy with different analytical tools and methods, they are not necessarily well informed about the issues in the healthcare field to be able to develop suitable analytics and AI solutions. My project involves collaborations with medical doctors, which will complement my skills and provide great insights to further advance research in analytics and AI and propose practical guidelines in healthcare.”

In her study, Parks hopes to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the challenges to business analytics operationalization; perform a granular assessment of the key challenges; compare her findings to what has already been reported by researchers in the United States; and build the foundation for an ongoing relationship between the Medical Informatics Center and Quinnipiac.

“I am excited and humbled to have this once-in-a lifetime opportunity for a researcher,” Parks said. “I hope I will do justice to the research itself and make my university and my country proud.”

Holly Raider, dean of the School of Business, said, "Professor Parks' Fulbright Scholar award is a prestigious recognition of excellence. Her research on data analytics and artificial intelligence is at the frontier of predictive analytics in healthcare and will advance the quality of diagnoses and treatment. High praise and congratulations to Professor Parks for this exceptional opportunity."

Parks, who joined Quinnipiac in 2016, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Higher Institute of International Tourism of Tangier in Morocco, a master’s degree in management information systems from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in management information systems from Pennsylvania State University.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.

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