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Catalyst @ Health 2.0 announces The COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge

Catalyst @ Health 2.0 announces The COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge

In partnership with Facebook Data for Good, the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the Joint Program on Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland (UMD), the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, and Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies

SAN ANSELMO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Catalyst @ Health 2.0, the industry leader in digital health strategic partnering, announced today the launch of The COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge. The COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge is looking for novel analytic approaches that use COVID-19 Symptom Survey data to enable earlier detection and improved situational awareness of the outbreak.

Challenge participants will leverage aggregated data from the COVID-19 Symptom Surveys conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland, in partnership with Facebook. Approaches can integrate publicly available datasets to validate and extend the predictive utility of symptom data and should assess the impact of the integration of symptom data on identifying inflection points in state, local, or regional COVID outbreaks, as well guiding individual and policy decision-making.

These are the largest and most detailed surveys ever conducted during a public health emergency, with over 25M responses recorded to date, across 200+ countries and territories and 55+ languages. Challenge partners look forward to seeing participants’ proposed approaches leveraging this data, as well as welcome feedback on the data’s usefulness in modeling efforts.

“Symptom survey data has the potential to point both policy makers and the general public to one of the earliest indicators of the virus,” said Farzad Mostashari, CEO of Aledade and Chair of the Challenge. “We think this challenge is an amazing opportunity for members of the data analytics and visualization communities to make use of syndromic data to develop solutions that can support the national COVID-19 response.”

How the Challenge Works:

In Phase I, innovators submit a white paper (“digital poster”) summarizing the approach, methods, analysis, findings, relevant figures and graphs of their analytic approach using COVID-19 Symptom Survey public data (see challenge submission criteria for more). Judges will evaluate the entries based on Validity, Scientific Rigor, Impact, and User Experience and award five semi-finalists $5,000 each. Semi-finalists will present their analytic approaches to a judging panel and three semi-finalists will be selected to advance to Phase II. The semi-finalists will develop a prototype (simulation or visualization) using their analytic approach and present their prototype at a virtual unveiling event. Judges will select a grand prize winner and the runner up (2nd place). The grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 and the runner up will be awarded $25,000. The winning analytic design will be featured on the Facebook Data for Good website and the winning team will have the opportunity to participate in a discussion forum with representatives from public health agencies.

Phase I applications for the challenge are due Tuesday, September 29th 2020 11:59:59 PM ET.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge here:

Background on the COVID-19 Symptom Surveys

As governments, academics and international organizations began to mount an unprecedented worldwide response to COVID-19 in early 2020, the world lacked a standardized, global, way to measure COVID-19 illness and track inflections in the outbreak that would help guide decision-making. The COVID-19 Symptom Surveys were launched by Facebook Data for Good, University of Maryland’s Joint Program in Survey Methodology, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Delphi group in the spring of 2020 to help efforts to monitor and forecast COVID-19.

“Data insights are a key component to supporting an informed public health response,” said KX Jin, head of health at Facebook. “In this challenge, we’re excited to encourage innovative approaches to aid public health efforts, and hope data from the Symptom Surveys may be particularly useful in settings where an absence of available data has made monitoring and forecasting efforts challenging.”

“We’re excited to see what important insights and results the participants will derive from this data,” said Alex Reinhart, who leads surveys for the Delphi group at Carnegie Mellon University. “We believe that these surveys, in combination with other public data, can provide a more complete picture of the pandemic’s scale and impacts, and welcome new ideas for how to use the data to improve decision-making and forecasting.”

Frauke Kreuter, Professor at the University of Maryland and co-director of the newly founded Social Data Science center, said, “Learning from the development over time and across countries is key to globally tackling the pandemic–we are excited to engage a larger community in the analysis of the data.”

For more information about the surveys and partnerships, please visit the Facebook Data for Good website.

About Catalyst @ Health 2.0

Catalyst @ Health 2.0 (“Catalyst”) is the industry leader in digital health strategic partnering, hosting competitive innovation “challenge” events, as well as developing and implementing programs for piloting and commercializing novel health care technologies. Since 2010, our team has hosted 90+ innovation challenges with $9mm in awards, coordinated over 175 pilot programs to test new tech, and created connections for more than 1,500 firms via matchmaking events. Our global network is a community of health IT entrepreneurs, provider and payer organizations, pharmaceutical companies, philanthropic foundations, investors, software developers, physicians, patients, academics and government representatives. Together we tackle complex health care issues and power the health innovation ecosystem. To stay up to date on the challenges, and other exciting programs, sign up for the Catalyst newsletter here.

Catalyst @ Health 2.0 announces The COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge


Matthew Holt

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