Analytics Contest Aims to Forecast Future Trends in Health Care Use

Being able to tell the future might not be in the cards yet, but predictive analytics is the closest we have to making predictions about unknown future events. Now one health agency wants to invite experts to a challenge to explore how this technology could be applied to existing databases to forecast future trends in health care use and spending.

Announced March 27, the Bringing Predictive Analytics to Healthcare Challenge aims to provide health care decision-makers better access to estimates that define current and future health care issues, said Gopal Khanna, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“AHRQ’s challenge competition will help demonstrate how predictive analytics can use existing data to provide those kinds of estimates and make new resources available for real-time decisions about policies and use of healthcare resources,” he said in a statement.

Challenge applicants will use predictive analytics to estimate hospital inpatient use for selected counties in the U.S. for 2017. They will provide the predicted values of the number of hospital inpatient discharges and the average length of stay for selected U.S. counties in 2016 by applying the model, methods and analytic approach used to get the 2017 estimates.

Ultimately, participants will produce a report detailing the model and methods for the estimates so the judges may try to replicate the results.

The application deadline is June 28 and the winner will be picked by July 31. Three winners will

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