21 January 2016

Ingemar Cox receives a distinguished runner-up prize

Lloyd's Science of Risk prize

DIKU's Professor Ingemar Cox in collaboration with a research team from Microsoft Research, Herzeliya, Israel as well as University College London, received a Lloyd’s Science of Risk runner-up Prize 2015 for their paper "Automatic Identification of Web-Based Risk Markers for Health Events”.

The paper "Automatic Identification of Web-Based Risk Markers for Health Events” was awarded a runner-up prize at the 2015 Lloyd's Science of Risk prize award. 

Ingemar Cox and his colleagues showed that web search engine queries coupled with information on Wikipedia  can be used to infer Web-based risk markers that are precursors to some common health events, including cardiovascular disease, sexually transmitted infections and mental health conditions.

Examples: Searches for pet stores were risk markers for allergy. Possible new risk markers could be: searching for fast food and theme restaurants was associated with a transient increase in risk of heart attack, suggesting this exposure goes beyond a long-term risk factor but may also act as an acute trigger of heart attacks. Dating and adult content websites were risk markers for sexually transmitted infections, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In their article the team conclude that web-based methods provide a powerful, low-cost approach to automatically identify risk factors, and support more timely and personalized public health efforts to bring human and economic benefits.

Read the full paper (PDF)