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Esther Dyson Launches Population Health Challenge

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2014

Expect also a lot of intermediate measurements and competitions.

"We're hoping that some of these quantified self vendors will come in and donate devices to the communities and so we'll have Fitbit and Fuelband contests," Dyson says. "[Add to that] the county health rankings and all of these sorts of official measures, most of which are a year or two old, and we're all going to get a lot more real-time data."

"You can't report transitions to diabetes every month," Dyson says, "so there will be some health measures that are kind of yearly, but then there are, the outcomes measures tend to be slow. The input measures, like the percentage of school lunches that contain no French fries or something, you can measure in more real time."

The $15 to $50 million table stakes per community sounds daunting to me. "It's not the community goes and gets a $50 million grant from somebody," Dyson says. "It's more than they get a $10 million grant for, let's say, heart health. There's a $2 million program for food subsidies for fruits and vegetables. There are accountable care organizations that find an investor to improve the health so that their costs go down. There are social impact bonds."

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