Health provider offers $3m prize for illness-predicting algorithm

The Heritage Provider Network wants to do for healthcare what technology in the film Minority Report did for police work.

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The Heritage Provider Network wants to do for healthcare what technology in the film Minority Report did for police work.

In other words, it wants to use technology to pre-emptively predict when illness is likely to strike and take measures to prevent costly hospitalisations. This week Heritage announced that it was offering a prize of $3 million (£1.8 million) for any developer who successfully created a "breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalisations".

HPN says that the winning algorithm must be able to "identify patients who are at risk for hospital admissions" so that "healthcare providers can develop new care plans and strategies to reach patients before emergencies occur". All contest participants will be given access to data sets of anonymous patient data that will include outpatient encounter data, hospitalisation encounter data, medication-dispensing claims data and outpatient laboratory data. From there, the contestants will be judged on how accurately their algorithm sorts data and correctly predicts the likelihood of future illnesses.

HPN says that it is holding the contest as part of a broader effort to cut medical expenses in the US. HPN expects the competition will last for at least two years and it says that registration will be open for new participants throughout the competition.

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