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Cause of death: where there is no physician


InSilicoVA is a statistical algorithm that, for a set of deaths, identifies the most likely joint probability distribution of CSMFs and probabilities of each cause for each individual death. This is done using a Bayesian hierarchical model fit using a Gibbs sampling algorithm that uses information on both the presence and absence of VA indicators and the conditional probability of each VA indicator for each cause of death. Those conditional probabilities can be borrowed from InterVA-4, calculated from the PHMRC gold-standard dataset or come from another source.

InSilicoVA reports probability distributions and summaries of those distributions for each CSMF, as well as the probability of each cause for each death. This is a first step in accounting for the inherent uncertainty in assigning causes to deaths using VA. The current version of InSilicoVA supports the WHO 2012 standard VA indicators and cause list, identical to InterVA-4. Free, open source software (including source code) implementing InSilicoVA is available for the R statistical programming language – download.

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