Friday, November 9, 2012

Winners of ALS Prediction Prize Use Algorithms to Predict Diseases’ Progress

The winning solvers of the ALS Prediction Prize have developed algorithms that predict a given patient’s disease status within a year’s time based on three months of data. This solution is important because it could impact how clinical trials for ALS therapies are designed and conducted, fostering faster breakthroughs in effective treatments for the disease. Registered solvers were provided a small subset of data from the PRO-ACT database, the largest database of clinical data from ALS patients ever created. The fully anonymized data includes patient demographics, medical and family history data, functional measures, vital signs and lab results. The full set of data from over 8,500 ALS patients will be globally available for research purposes beginning December 5, 2012. The Prediction Prize is a powerful example of how “Big Data” can lead to improved advances in medicine. Anyone with quantitative abilities, be they an engineer or atmospheric chemist, can help in the fight against ALS. Next, how this Crowdsourcing Approach can further research.

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