New Website Helps Engineers Find Biomedical Challenges that Crown Winning Algorithms 


Seattle nonprofit Sage Bionetworks released a new site called OpenChallenges that allows users to post biomedical challenges and potential algorithmic solutions. 

The free site meets a longstanding need in the biomedical world, as many elements of medical science can be streamlined and improved with computers and automation. OpenChallenges lets medical organizations post contests to the site that aim to create a solution to an outstanding medical need. 

“The really cool thing is that challenges are an interface between two communities that don’t speak with each other that much and really should be working together a lot,” said Luca Foschini, Sage Bionetworks’ CEO and president. Those communities are the scientists working on health issues, and the AI-engineers who develop the algorithms. 

Participants then “compete” to deliver the most successful algorithm, which is then tested by the organizer. In some cases, users can receive prizes for their contributions.