$3.2M in prizes for predicting hospitalization

March 17, 2011

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Heritage Health and Kaggle have teamed up to create the biggest data science competition thus far: the Heritage Health Prize, which challenges competitors to build a statistical model to predict the number of days a person is likely to spend in hospital over the next year, based on (anonymized) factors such as demographics, medical visits and treatments, and other factors:

Heritage launched the $3 million Heritage Health Prize with one goal in mind: to develop a breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. Heritage believes that incentivized competition – one that includes the involvement of those with passionate minds that don't know what can't be done – is the best way to achieve the radical breakthroughs and innovations necessary to reform our health care system.

The previous largest prediction competition, the Netflix prize, offered a prize of $1 million to the eventual winner. The winner of the Heritage Health Prize will receive three times that amount when the competition concludes in approximately 2 years … and we'll learn more from the exercise than how to avoid a bad movie. Plus, as announced this week at Predictive Analytics World, progress prizes will also be awarded to the top 2 interim leaders at the 6-month, 12-month and 18-month marks for a total of $230,000 in milestone prizes. This competition will be hosted on prediction-competition site Kaggle.com, where competitors will be able to see their progress in real-time leaderboards as they vie for the prizes. And given that most Kaggle competitors use R, this is a great opportunity for R users to put their data analysis skills to find the factors thet will keep us out of hospital … and maybe win some significant prize-money, too. 

The competition will open on April 4, and you can pre-register at the link below.

Heritage Health Prize: Launching April 4

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