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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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VII.11 Mathematics and Medical Statistics

David J. Spiegelhalter

1 Introduction

There are many ways in which mathematics has been applied in medicine: for example, the use of differential equations in pharmacokinetics and models for epidemics in populations; and FOURIER ANALYSIS [III.27] of biological signals. Here we are concerned with medical statistics, by which we mean collecting data about individuals and using it to draw conclusions about the development and treatment of disease. This definition may appear to be rather restrictive, but it includes all of the following: randomized clinical trials of therapies, evaluating interventions such as screening programs, comparing health outcomes in different populations and institutions, describing ...

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