One of the classes I'm taking this term is call Medical Decision Making. We'll spend quite a bit of time on Decision Trees, Simple Markov Models, and Monte Carlo Simulations to develop our skills with a set of tools useful for decision making.
Some of these tools I've used before for classifying information. I used data from simple Markov models to build a predictive part of speech recognizer, and decision trees were something I built to make hyphenation rules, back in the days when I used to care about spelling correction. These are also tools found in the tool-box of anyone familiar with a variety of data mining techniques.
And those same techniques are being applied to micro-signals in analytics applied to big data generated by organizations to help detect and improve some other measure (be it quality, profitability or something else).
In fact, there is so much similarity that I'm beginning to wonder about the application of other data mining techniques to medical decision making. Do I hear a thesis topic coming together in my back brain? If I focus it on patient-centric medical decision making, there might just be something worth looking into that also fits into my personal and career goals.
Funny how all that early work in linguistics keeps coming back to haunt me (as he hunts for red squiggles in his blog post [note to self: add squiggles to my custom dictionary]).