3 Questions: Amy Finkelstein on testing health care systems

Amy Finkelstein, an MIT economist, explains why randomized trials can improve medical care.

“About 80 percent of studies of U.S. medical interventions use randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the gold standard of laboratory research. But only about 18 percent of studies of U.S. health care delivery use RCTs. That can and should change, suggests Amy Finkelstein, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, in a Science piece co-written with MIT researcher Sarah Taubman.  If so, they assert, researchers who find new ways of applying RCTs to our medical system will be able to produce compelling answers to pressing questions. Finkelstein, an experienced practitioner of RCTs in U.S. health care, helped launch J-PAL North America, a recently formed branch of MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, which uses RCTs to test policy questions and social programs. MIT News discussed the issue with Finkelstein.  Click here for the full article. 

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