Improving celiac disease diagnosis demands constant and, potentially, radical innovation. We know that celiac disease is not being diagnosed early enough or often enough. How can big data solve this? Large amounts of patient data make it easier to find patterns and relationships. Analyzing big data helps identify which patients are most at risk for celiac disease and how the disease affects people daily and over time.

On March 15th, 2019, the Celiac Disease Foundation was proud to be a sponsor of the MedAboutData Hackathon in Haifa, Israel at the invitation of the Celiac Association of Israel (CAI).

One of the goals of the Hackathon was to develop smart tools and algorithms for early diagnosis of celiac disease. Working on a nutshell of a real, anonymized healthcare database, developed by leading medical institutions in Israel, more than 120 hackers (students, biomedical engineers, doctors, software developers, and entrepreneurs) organized in 22 groups, came together in Haifa for 24 hours to tackle one of three challenges:

• Maccabi and the Technion, Digital Medicine in 2040: groundbreaking uses of big data in digital knowledge gathered in health organizations to save lives
• Teva Pharmaceutical: a smart tool for early detection of celiac disease
• AstraZeneca: early prediction tool of heart or kidney failure in diabetics with no proven cardiac disease

The first and third place winners of the Hackathon were teams working on the celiac disease diagnosis challenge!

Dr. Liat Kosovich of CAI reports the following:

During the hackathon, the ‘CeliACT’ team presented an innovative product that can assist medical professionals in early detection of celiac disease. The product acts like a friendly antivirus solution, by running on all the medical records in the health provider’s database and alerts the doctor when undiagnosed patients, with a high risk for celiac, are found. The product is based on AI algorithms and an innovative user interface that presents the relevant data to the user in a convenient and informative manner.

Our job is not yet done! We are now working with the ‘CeliACT’ team members in order to transform their initial idea into a viable tool that will become a gold standard for early diagnosis of celiac disease in every health organization around the world. We are pleased to report that several medi-tech accelerators have already approached the team, and we are very optimistic regarding their chances of becoming an innovative startup, that will change the way celiac disease is diagnosed.

I wish to thank you, on behalf of myself, Celiac Association of Israel and celiac sufferers all around the world for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Hackathon Drives Early Diagnosis of Celiac Disease