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U-M named a finalist in American Heart Association COVID-19 data challenge

A team from across the University of Michigan was named a finalist in the first phase of the American Heart Association COVID-19 data challenge. The challenge focuses on understanding the relationships between COVID-19 and other health conditions, health disparities and social determinants of health that may bring a higher burden of illness or mortality.

Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., an interventional cardiologist and professor of internal medicine at the Michigan Medicine Frankel Cardiovascular Center, led the U-M team's effort, called “Effect of Public Health Policies on New Confirmed Cases for Corona Virus Disease 2019 in South Korea: Lessons for the World.” The team included U-M students Yang Li, Cheng Ma, Weijing Tang, Xuefei Zhang; faculty members Ji Zhu, Ph.D. (statistics) and Nallamothu and staff member Jessica Baker.

The challenge was judged by a panel of 29 U.S.-based data science and public health experts. Researchers connected their own data with datasets hosted on BurstIQ’s Research Foundry and the American Heart Association Precision Medicine Platform, with support from Hitachi Vantara. The four finalist teams each receive $5,000 and advance to the final phase of the challenge, after which a grand prize will be awarded in November.

“These researchers are enabling us to better understand the disproportionate burden COVID-19 is having on underserved and vulnerable communities,” said Jennifer Hall, Ph.D., chief of data science and co-director of the Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine for the American Heart Association.

To learn more about the data challenge, the sponsors and other winning projects, head to the American Heart Association's news release.

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