14. Februar 2020

Brown Bag Seminar Industrial Economics

Battling Antibiotic Resistance: Can Machine Learning Improve Prescribing?


14. Februar 2020
10:30 - 11:30


Anna J. Schwartz Room
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Hannes Ullrich

Abstract:  Antibiotic misuse due to prescribing under diagnostic uncertainty is a leading driver of antibiotic resistance. We investigate the magnitude and mechanisms by which machine learning predictions can enable policies that reduce antibiotic misuse. Building on predictions from administrative data on urinary tract infections in Denmark, we evaluate counterfactual policies that replace or improve human diagnostic expertise and contrast these to policies manipulating payoffs. Estimating a model of physician decision-making, we find substantial heterogeneity in diagnostic skill and preferences. Consequently, policies combining individual diagnostic skill with predictions achieve the largest effects, reducing antibiotic use by up to 17.8 percent and overprescribing by 33.3 percent.

Joint with Michael Ribers (DIW Berlin & University of Copenhagen)


Hannes Ullrich, DIW Berlin & University of Copenhagen