How Open Data and Prize Competitions Will Drive Innovation in Health

Jonathan Gluck (Heritage Provider Network), Guy Cavet (Kaggle), Aman Bhandari (Merck)

Healthcare is 18% of US GDP and is projected to grow to 37% by 2050. To avoid this unsustainable trajectory, we must reinvent how we deliver healthcare. The past few years have seen an explosion in prizes competitions in the health sector, as well as in many other sectors. Challenges and crowdsourcing are on everyone’s lip. Perhaps the surprise should be that it has taken so long for everyone to wake up to prizes’ benefits, as prizes and challenges have a long history of benefiting humanity and driving major breakthroughs. A prize was used to incentivize the first flight across the Atlantic, a prize led to the invention of canning, and, truly importantly, prizes have even been used to create Super Bowl commercials.

Prizes are effective at spurring entrepreneurship, crowdsourcing innovation and accelerating progress. It is commonly believed that one of the principle reasons prizes and challenges are so successful is that they incentivize individuals who have never thought about the problem and never worked in the field, and who are not constrained by the “accepted wisdom,” to think about problems in new and creative ways. Health care is desperately in need of such “outside the box” thinking.

In addition to prizes involving the creation of applications and finding of cures for specific diseases, we have also seen the growth in health data prizes. This growth is critical, and it is critical that it continue, as it is in data analysis, data mining and machine learning where the biggest talent gap exists between health and other industries. For too long data scientists first choice in employment has been investment banking and tech. Incentivized data prizes can introduce these individuals to health care, and help them realize the societal changes they can drive when they turn their attention from creating apps that direct you to the local Starbucks and instead begin to think about how to use big data sets to predict and prevent disease.

This panel will provide an overview of important macro level policy and regulatory trends in the health sector that will drive tremendous demand for data science and analytics from a government, care delivery and technology perspective. In addition the panelists will focus on specific examples of how using prizes competitions in conjunction with an open data movement are disrupting the data analytics space. Aman Bhandari, the Senior Advisor to the US CTO will describe context around health reform, the efforts being led by the Federal Government to free up data sets for use by data miners, as well as the data prizes that the Government has created around that data. Jonathan Gluck, a Senior Executive at Heritage Provider Network and the individual at Heritage who has run the $3 million Heritage Health Prize (which seeks the creation of an algorithm that predicts the number of days an individual will spend in the hospital in a given year), will discuss the prize as well other prizes in which Heritage is involved. And Guy Cavet, Vice President of Life Sciences at Kaggle will detail how one builds a platform and community of solvers to tackle predictive modeling problems.

In addition to the current prizes in which their organizations are involved, Guy, Aman and Jonathan will discuss the issues and opportunities surrounding prizes using health data. Those issues include:

  1. privacy and HIPAA concerns, as well as what can be done to address these concerns and provide the competitors with the most robust data set possible;
  2. the difficulty in obtaining robust health care data sets; and
  3. the unanticipated policy concerns that surround health data challenges.

Finally, they will discuss the opportunities available to industry through challenges, and how to create a challenge that will obtain the participation of the data community and lead to successful solutions for challenge’s sponsor. We are in the early stage of health challenges. To data, most health challenges have focused on apps, games, and data visualizations. Come hear how we can use health data challenges to fix healthcare, spur new business models, and avoid prize and app fatigue.

Photo of Jonathan Gluck

Jonathan Gluck

Heritage Provider Network

Jonathan Gluck is Senior Executive and Counsel at Heritage Provider Network (HPN), a large integrated delivery network in Southern California with over 700,000 members. HPN employs hundreds of physicians at its stand-alone full service clinics, and also contracts with approximately 2,300 primary care physicians, 30,000 specialist physicians and more than 100 hospitals. An affiliate of HPN, Heritage California ACO, was recently awarded by CMS one of the 32 Pioneer ACOs in the United States. Gluck left his 15-year stretch as a full-time attorney in 2008 to join Heritage. Before joining HPN, he was a partner at an international law firm’s Los Angeles office practicing health care law. Today, he spends about a quarter of his time involved in legal matters. The rest of the time, Gluck handles a wide range of functions, including business development and expansion opportunities, hospital relationships and recruiting. He is also involved in coordinating and administering the $3 million Heritage Health Prize, which challenges teams to create an algorithm that predicts how many days a patient will spend in a hospital in the next year. Gluck earned his J.D. from the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.Jonathan Gluck is Senior Executive and Counsel at Heritage Provider Network, a company that contracts with about 2,300 primary care physicians, 30,000 specialist physicians, nine medical groups and more than 100 hospitals. He left his 15-year stretch as a full-time attorney in 2008 to join Heritage. Before joining the physician group, Gluck was a partner at several Los Angeles law firms and worked as outside counsel for Heritage for more than five years. About a quarter of his job is spent handling legal matters for the medical group network. The rest of the time, Gluck handles a wide range of functions, from helping the company to pursue hospital partnerships to staying abreast of new regulations coming out of Washington, D.C. and how laws may affect the group’s business. He is also involved in coordinating and administering the $3 million Heritage Health Prize, which challenges teams to create an algorithm that predicts how many days a patient will spend in a hospital in the next year. Gluck earned his J.D. from the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California.

Photo of Guy Cavet

Guy Cavet

Kaggle

Guy is Kaggle’s Vice President of Life Sciences. Kaggle solves challenging data analytics problems by harnessing competition dynamics. Guy’s objective at Kaggle is to advance healthcare and biological sciences through predictive modeling. He has previously led teams in the application of computation to biology at organizations including Rosetta Inpharmatics, Genentech and Merck. His past areas of interest include genome analysis, drug target prioritization, diagnostics and software engineering. Guy has a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Cambridge University.

Photo of Aman Bhandari

Aman Bhandari

Merck

Aman Bhandari is a Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He helps lead innovation and data efforts for HHS CTO Todd Park and also the newly formed Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. He works on a variety of health policy issues (i.e. mobile health, open data, prize competitions) and national initiatives at the intersection of technology, innovation, data and health – engaging the private sector as well as the traditional players. He has a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of California, Berkeley

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