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Winner of Amgen Patients | Choices | Empowerment Competition Emerging Star of HealthCare Engagement Award
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Announcing the Health Data Discovery Contest

What it is:

Over the past 3 years, CureTogether has gathered millions of patient-reported data points on symptoms and treatments for over 500 conditions. Now it’s time to test on a larger scale how well CureTogether data represents the general population. Do they match up or not?

So we’re running a contest to tap the most brilliant stats minds out there. Challenge our dataset! See whether or not it holds up to existing research studies. Why? You’ll be helping to demonstrate the effectiveness of online platforms for medical discovery, and ultimately helping to reduce global suffering.

NOTE! The goal of the competition is not to reach any predetermined conclusion. It is to measure as well as we can how much our conclusions agree or disagree with the PubMed literature. Whether you find agreement or disagreement or something in between will have no effect on your chances of winning.

(There’s also a cash prize. And we’ll help you get your findings published. And if you REALLY impress us, we just might have you come work with us! For real.)

How it works:

- Pick one or more of CureTogether’s top conditions
- Find one or many discoveries on PubMed or GoPubMed to compare to CureTogether data
- Ask Alexandra (CureTogether co-founder) for the anonymized data
- Prepare analyses and/or visualizations that demonstrate and quantify how well CureTogether data matches up with the independent studies (use R, Python, SQL, SAS, SPSS, Excel, Sweave, or your favorite tool)
- Send Alexandra what you find
- Win $3,000 top prize, $1,000 second prize, or one of four $250 third prizes
- Get recognition on CureTogether’s Team page, blog, Twitter account, etc.
- If the code and data for your work is made openly available, we will help submit your findings to Open Research Computation, Journal of Participatory Medicine, and other journals.

Examples of discoveries to replicate:

- Disease correlations/co-morbidities
- Treatment effectiveness
- Symptom prevalence
- Gender/age prevalence
- Symptom biomarkers for disease diagnosis or treatment response
- Anything else you find interesting or relevant (you might get some ideas by looking at CureTogether’s research findings so far)


- 25% – Does the entry powerfully or extensively quantify the extent to which CureTogether data matches up with independent studies? Finding a discrepancy is as interesting as finding a confirmation.
- 25% – Is there a clear demonstration of method and results? How did you analyze CureTogether data, and how did you do the meta-analysis to compare it with the other studies?
- 25% – Is there a plausible, testable hypothesis that seeks to explain any similarities or differences between our data and other datasets studied?
- 25% –  Does the entry compare CureTogether data with several high quality independent studies with large sample sizes, studies that have been replicated multiple times, more recent studies, etc?


- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Open to individuals, organizations, or teams in any country around the world (if a team wins, prize money will be equally distributed)
- Signed data access agreement to protect patient privacy and use of their data
- Signed release for CureTogether to post the findings publicly


- Alexandra Carmichael, CureTogether and Quantified Self
- Daniel Reda, CureTogether
- Dr. Will Dampier, Center for Integrated Bioinformatics, Drexel University
- Prof. Seth Roberts, Tsinghua University and University of Berkeley
- Prof. Victoria Stodden, Department of Statistics, Columbia University


Timeline (2011):

- Intent to participate cut-off (data requests sent in) – July 29
- First draft of discoveries submitted for feedback by – August 29
- Final discoveries submitted by – October 29
- Winner(s) announced – November 15
Get started now! Tell Alexandra you’re interested in joining the contest here.

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