Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security are challenging the crowd to make predictions about future outbreaks and other related events for a project that will provide public health leaders with forecasting data to help inform their decisions on preparedness and response policies and interventions.
The Collective Intelligence for Disease Prediction project launched in January 2019 and runs through the end of the year. Those interested in participating may register on the Disease Prediction page of the Center for Health Security's website.
Participation is open to public health experts, doctors, epidemiologists, modelers, risk experts, vector control officials, individuals with on-the-ground understanding of conditions surrounding disease outbreaks, and others who are interested in outbreaks.
Throughout the project, the center will analyze forecasting data from participants and share key insights with health sector stakeholders to supplement traditional surveillance and modeling efforts. The project team's long-term goal is to develop a prediction tool that will provide useful, real-time predictive information to health security leaders responsible for preparing for, preventing, and responding to emerging infectious diseases and epidemics. All data collected will be used for research purposes and in ways that will not reveal any individually identifiable information.
Participants who make accurate predictions and update their forecasts consistently may become eligible for a prize. The system—built on Lumenogic's Prescience platform—records each participant's latest forecast on every question. When a question is resolved, the system computes the accuracy of each participant's forecasts on that question, then compares it to the median accuracy of other participants.
A live leaderboard is accessible to anyone registered for the project through the platform online, where more information on purpose, methods, scoring, and prizes is also available.
The project is supported by funding from the Open Philanthropy Project.