SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge Winners Announced!

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) today named three teams hailing from universities in Israel and the United States as the winners of the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge, which encouraged participants to explore and examine the potential of sharing clinical trial data. Open to health care professionals, researchers and data scientists, NEJM asked individuals and groups to analyze the dataset underlying the SPRINT article, “A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control,” and challenged them to identify a novel scientific or clinical finding.

“Our goal for the SPRINT Challenge was to find out what could be achieved by sharing clinical trial data and bringing trialists, data analysts and patients together for a constructive conversation. The winners reflect this spirit,” said Jeffrey Drazen, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and Challenge Co-Chair. “The research community rallied to participate in the SPRINT Challenge. We appreciate the time and effort that went into each entry.”

The winners of the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge are:

  • First place: Noa Dagan, M.D., MPH, Chief Data Officer and Researcher at Clalit Research Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel; To Treat Intensively or Not – Individualized Decision Making Support Tool
  • Second place: Rahul Aggarwal (Renality Check) of Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts; Assessing the Impact of Intensive Blood Pressure Management in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
  • Third place: Sanjay Basu, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University in Stanford, California; Development and Validation of a Clinical Decision Score to Maximize Benefit and Minimize Harm from Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment

Overall, 200 individuals and teams qualified to participate in the Challenge with NEJM receiving 143 submissions of novel findings based on the SPRINT data set. These entries, representing countries from around the world, were judged based on the findings’ originality and novelty, the utility of those findings to clinical medicine, and the quality and clarity of the methods used.

The multidisciplinary panel of judges were comprised of expert representatives from the clinical trial community: researchers, patient advocates and data scientists (the full list of judges can be found here: https://challenge.nejm.org/judges). The final results were also open to evaluation by the Challenge’s more than 16,000 followers for crowd voting, which contributed to 10 percent of the total scoring.

“The thoughtfulness of approach and strength of responses that we received demonstrated great talent across a wide range of fields and geographies,” said Isaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D., co-chair for the SPRINT Data Challenge. “There is much to learn from this Challenge and the way teams came together to explore how medical, scientific, and health care advances might be made through responsibly sharing data.”

The three winning SPRINT Challenge teams will present their findings at the NEJM Aligning Incentives for Sharing Clinical Trial Data summit and free live web event on April 3-4, 2017. With the Aligning Incentives summit, NEJM aims to initiate an open and balanced discussion among clinical trials’ three key constituencies — clinical trialists, data analysts and patient participants — as well as the government and funding agencies that support research.

For more information on the SPRINT Challenge, visit: https://challenge.nejm.org and for more information on the summit, including registering for the free live web event on April 3-4, visit: http://events.nejm.org.

Abigail Ballou

Abigail Ballou

    Abby Ballou is the managing editor of MedTech Boston. She has a B.A. and M.Phil in English literature from NYU and the CUNY Graduate Center, respectively. When she isn't writing and editing for MedTech Boston, Abby enjoys reading, rock climbing, watching classic movies and listening to opera.

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