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Hearst Health Prize Refocuses on Data Science Programs

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   January 21, 2022

Hearst Health is partnering with the UCLA Center for SMART Health to reinvent the seven-year-old prize as an award for innovative programs that use technologies like AI and digital health to affect health outcomes.

The UCLA Center for SMART Health and Hearst Health are partnering to reinvent the Hearst Health Prize, giving it more of an emphasis on digital health and data science.

The program was launched in 2015 by Hearst Health, a San Francisco-based care guidance network that includes First Databank, Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase and MHK. For the past five years, the $100,000 prize has been awarded to population health programs.

The new partnership aims to turn the focus on healthcare organizations that are use data science, such as AI and digital health, to improve health outcomes. And it points to a growing interest in the development of technologies that pull in data from both inside and outside the healthcare ecosystem to forecast and affect clinical outcomes and improve health and wellness.

“The application of AI and data science to healthcare has reached a state of maturity where it is important to investigate the approaches that are most impactful in generating health outcomes,” Alex Bui, PhD, a co-director at the Center for SMART Health, said in a press release. “Our collaboration on the Hearst Health Prize will help disseminate best practices for the benefit of everyone.”

“With the increasing activity in healthcare related to artificial intelligence and other data science solutions, everyone working in healthcare should understand what programs and approaches result in better health for patients,” added Arash Naeim, MD, PhD, also a co-director of UCLA Center for SMART Health.

The UCLA Center for SMART Health, which launched in 2016, is one of several organizations riding the wave of connected health innovation earlier this decade. The center “is dedicated to the research, evaluation, and application of digital health technologies and data-driven analyses that advance human health by predicting and reducing risk, improving decision-making, and optimizing the spectrum of clinical care activities.”

The partnership, financial details of which were not announced, will award its first Hearst health Prize through the UCLA Center for Digital Health in 2022.

“Our award provides a national platform to showcase how data science is making a difference in the lives of patients,” Hearst Health President Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, said in the press release. “The engineering and healthcare expertise that Alex and Arash have aligned at the UCLA Center for SMART Health makes them ideal partners for this next generation of the Hearst Health Prize in data sciences.”

Eric Wicklund is the Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.

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