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Crowdsourcing Game Helps Diagnose Infectious Diseases 25

Posted by Soulskill
from the grand-theft-antibody dept.
Lucas123 writes "Researchers at UCLA have created an online crowdsourcing game designed to let players help doctors in key areas of the world speed the lengthy process of distinguishing malaria-infected red blood cells from healthy ones. So far, those playing the game have collectively been able to accurately diagnose malaria-infected blood cells within 1.25% of the accuracy of a pathologist performing the same task (PDF). The researchers hope that users of the game can help eliminate the high cost and sometimes poor accuracy of diagnosis in areas like sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria accounts for some 20% of all childhood deaths."
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Crowdsourcing Game Helps Diagnose Infectious Diseases

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  • on one hand, gamers have been known to be gracious and kind enough to donate and keep CHild's play running.

    On the other hand, gamers are dicks.

    I hope this ends well.

  • by tomlue (2632019) on Friday May 04, 2012 @10:30AM (#39890143)
    Whenever I see these games I wonder if there is some effort to solve the task with ml as well. It seems like if you are getting a large number of players then you should have data on how those players are classifying the red blood cells. Given that data we can at least attempt a couple different techniques at a classifier.

    The benefit could be two fold. On one hand a decent classifier could 'help eliminate the high cost and sometimes poor accuracy of diagnosis.' On the other hand if a diagnostician is looking at a blood sample having a classifier give some probability of classification (ie. saying 'this sample is 90% probable to be malaria infected') could help the doctor in their diagnosis.

    I'd love to work on that problem. A very quick search of google scholar and citeseer doesn't pop up anything on the subject though, and I don't see any api on the linked site.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @10:31AM (#39890163)

    Usually it's not an issue with crowdsourcing. You rely on maybe 100 or more people classifying the same thing correctly, the key point is collective classification. See Citizen Sky for more examples.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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