Global Health in Numb3rs Hackaton

Healthy Birth, Growth and Development knowledge integration



Hacking Global Health

History (and scientific literature) teaches us that under good environmental conditions, on average, children of any ethnic background have approximately the same growth potential.

In 2011, stunted (shortness for age) growth affected 165 million children. Stunted growth may increase morbidity, mortality, physical impairment, cognitive impairment, limited productivity, and poverty. In Africa and Asia, 11% national economic productivity is lost to undernutrition.

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Gates Foundation’s vision is to ensure a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. The Foundation’s Healthy Birth, Growth, and Development knowledge integration (HBGDki) initiative is a global data-driven project. We have integrated many data sets about child growth and development into a large knowledge base. We are using these data sets to learn about factors that stop body and brain growth, and to develop optimal solutions.

Currently, the organization has acquired data on 9.5 million children from 122 individual studies across 25 countries. Data has been collated from longitudinal (>12 million subject records), cross-sectional, and survey data sources along with over a thousand clinical covariates of interest.

We are looking at innovative ways to develop predictive personalized public health models to help us identify the right therapeutic/preventive interventions, in the right dosage, for the right child, at the right time, to get the right response and avoid the adverse outcomes in childhood and adulthood.

Pre-Hackathon Meetup #1
Oct 11, 2016 6pm-9pm
75 E Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Pre-Hackathon Meetup #2
Oct 25, 2016 6pm-9pm
75 E Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Global Health Hackathon
Nov 4, 2016 9am-6pm
Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Pkwy
Santa Clara, CA 95054

What is a Hackaton?

It’s a day long digital workshop in which computer programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, community activists, artists and other interested members of the community come together to collaborate intensively on a specific project. The outcome produces visualizations, analytics and features based on this data.

Challenge #1

Somatic growth to track brain development
Somatic growth is used as a surrogate for impaired neurocognitive development, but it is possible that somatic growth also tracks with brain development. In this data set, children aged 3 months to 11 years were examined by MRI (2 to 4 scans each) to characterize brain development. Brain myelination was quantified from the MRI scans, and is provided in the hackathon dataset (Figure 2). Somatic growth also was measured at each examination.

The problem proposed to Hackathon participants is to characterize the maturation of different regions of the brain in terms of myelination versus each other and versus somatic growth profiles. Can the results of this study be generalized so that the trajectory of brain development can be inferred from measurements of somatic growth?

Challenge #2

Predicting Fetal Weight from Ultrasounds Measurements
Several different equations have been proposed to estimate fetal weight from 4 key ultra sonogram measurements: head circumference (HC); abdominal circumference (AC); biparietal diameter (BPD); and femur length (FL). Each method has been evaluated by comparing the estimated fetal weight (EFW) to the birth weight for an ultrasonogram that was done close to birth, but these equations are only valid shortly before full-term birth. The problem proposed to Hackathon participants is to develop methods for predicting fetal weight at week 40 (i.e., full-term birth weight) from ultra sonogram measurements between weeks 26 and 39 gestation. Prediction methods should take advantage of the longitudinal characteristics of the ultrasonogram and postnatal data set that will be made available to participants.


Speakers coming soon!


Hacking Global Health | Santa Clara