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Algorithm Contest Aims To Predict Health Problems 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the math-of-health dept.
databuff writes "The April 4 launch of the $3 million Heritage Health Prize has been announced by the Heritage Provider Network, a network of doctors. The competition challenges data hackers to build algorithms that predict who will go to the hospital in the next year, so that preventative action can be taken. An algorithm might find that somebody with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol is a 90 per cent risk for hospitalization. Knowing this, it might be cheaper for an HMO to enroll them in an exercise program now rather than pay the likely hospital bill. The competition takes the same approach as the $1 million Netflix Prize, but solves a far more significant problem."
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Algorithm Contest Aims To Predict Health Problems

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  • Safeway (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday February 04, 2011 @06:49PM (#35107740) Homepage

    That's likely what will happen, but not necessarily the only result.

    To lower company premiums, Safeway bribes employees to quit smoking and/or lose weight:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124476804026308603.html [wsj.com]

  • by nido (102070) <nido56.yahoo@com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @06:58PM (#35107820) Homepage

    In a way, doctors are trained to ignore teh science. They start with someone who already has a problem, and treat the symptoms as best they can. Science has determined many of the causes, but they are not profitable for the oligarchy, so they train our doctors to sell us pills for the symptoms.

    somebody with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol is a 90 per cent risk for hospitalization. Knowing this, it might be cheaper for an HMO to enroll them in an exercise program now rather than pay the likely hospital bill.

    The Lipid Peroxidation [wikipedia.org] chain reaction is a large part of what causes the diabetes, hypertension and [oxidized] cholesterol problems.

    Lipid peroxidation is such a huge problem today because the western world switched its main sources of dietary fats from animals (mostly saturated butter/lard) to seeds (mostly polyunsaturated corn/soy/rapeseed/linseed)... And even the animals we eat aren't as healthy as they once were because now they subsists on seeds instead of grass/insects/etc.

    This contest is a waste of time.

  • Re: Obama Care (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stregano (1285764) on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:20PM (#35107988)
    I love the reform haters. Here is a little story that happened to me: I found a lump near my booty hole. I am only 28, so that is pretty scary. I went to get it checked out for cancer. I had a colonoscopy (you know, what you get when you are 50). Well it cleaned out my system good enough for my gall stones to spout up and hurt alot. Remember, I am 28 and am in decent health. Within a 2 week span, I went to the doctor, had a colonscopy, went to the emergency room, had my gall bladder removed, then was bed ridden in the hospital for 5 days.

    I got out on a Thursday, went back to work on the following Monday. I had to. How else am I going to pay for this? I am still making payments on it.

    Maybe I wiped too hard or something, but that chain of events, then me going back to work so soon, yeah, not good. Now under what you call "ObamaCare" I would not still be paying this because once I had my colonscopy, guess what, even with a clean record of good health before this, they jacked my premiums through the roof.

    Oh wait, urgent delivery:

    Dear person who does not support the Health Care Reform,
    We regret to inform you that we thought it would be a great idea to jack up your premiums making excuses for it. Even if the health reform is not even in place, we are going to go ahead and use that as an excuse to boost your premiums up. Also, please be aware that once you have insurance through us, if you have a salary job, regardless of what you go to the doctor for, we will go ahead and boost your premiums again.

    Thank You again for supporting us and Being Republican,
    Big Insurance Company
  • "In a way, doctors are trained to ignore teh science. They start with someone who already has a problem, and treat the symptoms as best they can. Science has determined many of the causes, but they are not profitable for the oligarchy, so they train our doctors to sell us pills for the symptoms"

    that is completely false. While may Dr.s are not scientists, they still prefer to cure someone. It's a lie perpetrated by people whose own 'belief' aren't born out scientifically. Since they are so attached to them they invoke conspiracy that are nonsense.

    "The Lipid Peroxidation [wikipedia.org] chain reaction is a large part of what causes the diabetes, hypertension and [oxidized] cholesterol problems.":
    That is complete nonsense.

    speaking of doctors and science:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/ [sciencebasedmedicine.org]

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Friday February 04, 2011 @07:52PM (#35108222) Journal

    That still doesn't change the fact that 90% of most people's health care expenses are incurred in the last 5 months of their lives, but cutting off funding for that would amount to a real version of the "death panels" the Republicans have falsely associated with the new Health Care act.

    This problem will be solved shortly when Medicare melts down. Then people will get exactly as much end of life care as they can afford and no more.

    Which, in the end, is how it should have been done from the beginning. When there aren't enough resources to give everybody what they want then some kind of rationing will occur no matter how much people complain and protest about it. The only decision to make is whether to have rationing by price or rationing by fiat. Rationing by price is the superior solution because then market forces will provide incentives to bring the costs down to increase the number of potential customers. Rationing by fiat puts everybody at the mercy of unelected bureaucrats.

    To see how this works compare the prices of procedures that people normally pay out of pocket vs procedures that people normally pay for with OPM. Laser eye surgery has been getting cheaper over the years. Anything covered by Medicare or private health insurance has been getting more expensive.

  • by drooling-dog (189103) on Friday February 04, 2011 @09:06PM (#35108674)

    If you can't afford the cost of fixing a problem caused by your own lifestyle decisions then tough shit.

    Says the conservative who couldn't give a piss about anybody until it's about him.

    Since you're apparently not fat there's no chance you'll ever be in need of medical attention, but - just hypothetically - I'd love to be your insurance adjuster, playing by your own rules, if you ever did. The look on your face as we explain that we're denying your claim because of some arguably sub-optimal "lifestyle choice" you once made would be priceless. Eat meat? Play sports? Work a stressful job? Drive a car? You're on your own.

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