Global Health in Numb3rs Hackaton
Hacking Global Health
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.
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?