The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL), in partnership with Health 2.0 Egypt, launched on Tuesday a data analytics challenge to identify interventions for lifestyle changes that prevent chronic diseases.

“As we have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy behaviors, we have developed what are known today as chronic diseases,” said UNESCO in the competition’s concept note. It explained that Chronic diseases – aka Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)- are medical conditions that cannot be passed from person-to-person, which means they are non-infectious. NCDs include Liver Cirrhosis, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Asthma, Hypertension and various forms of Cancer.

“These diseases are slow to progress and are typically chronic in nature. NCDs are the leading cause of disability and death in Egypt,” UNESCO stated.

Percent of all death in Egypt in 2014. Courtesy of UNESCO

As the world turns towards Data and technology for solutions to major issues, several Big Data trends in healthcare have emerged. Predictive Analytics uses AI, machine learning and mathematical models to sift through historic data and predict disease outcomes such as re-hospitalization, services demand and insurance member retention. Healthcare executives are increasingly relying on Data Analytics Visualization and descriptive statistics to improve their understanding of population, disease and business trends in their organizations. The latest Data Standards release by Health Level 7 (HL7), the governing organization of global standards for healthcare data,  called FHIR (short for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources ) provides a new hope for a simple adoption of a ready data model that leverages all the new technologies. With New Sources of Data, like genetic testing and patient-satisfaction e-surveys, healthcare data is becoming richer and can provide deeper insights into a patient’s condition.

The Competition is looking for

• Applications that empower patients through education or access to healthcare information using data

Device Concepts/Applications that improve patient generated data

Visualization / Dashboards that improve understanding

Machine Learning Algorithm/Models that help predict demand or progression

of a certain disease for a certain population.

The competition was announced at the Digital Inclusion Tech Talks, a TED-Talk-style event featuring regional initiatives across a range of sectors held at the American University in Cairo-Tahrir Campus. Novartis is giving 10$k for top three submissions. The deadline to participate is October 14.

To apply, click here.




Before joining InfoTimes, Aya reported for Egyptian Streets, and before that, for Daily News Egypt. She has also written for various local and international media platforms, such as Foreign Affairs, The National, and Al-Monitor. Aya holds an MA in Global Communication from Simon Fraser University.

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