Analytical project developed by AGH UST students will make a difference for doctors

Source: SAS Institute

AGH UST students have won the SAS Data Science Hackathon. Their winning project may help doctors from the National Oncology Institute to facilitate performing their regular duties, which involves searching and filling in data in medical information systems.

The challenge involved the creation of an innovative analytical project (based on machine learning, deep learning and text analytics techniques) which would automate the process of analysing and processing medical notes, thus providing healthcare staff with faster and easier access to information as well as facilitating their day-to-day work. Members of the hackathon were offered an opportunity to work on a solution to a real business problem using real data. They received support in the form of access to state of the art analytical tools and the know-how of SAS experts.

The winners of the tournament: Maciej Kasprzyk, Hubert Rydz and Krzysztof Uszko study Cybersecurity at the Faculty of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications (WIET). At the very onset of the project they defined and allocated tasks within the team. Maciej Kasprzyk explored SAS software and its capabilities, which he later presented to the team explaining how they could be effectively used, while his collaborators handled the analytical part of the project and developed required algorithms in Python: Hubert Rydz extracted data for analytics creating patterns that would match relevant medical terminology, whereas Krzysztof Uszko was responsible for combining fragments of code and processing the results which led the students to the final outcome.  

The students reported that: „The task was pretty challenging since there was no certainty as to which analytical model was the expected one. Data interpretation was a major obstacle too and if you add a lot of medical terminology to it all you will get a really hard nut to crack. As a consequence, systematising output data proved to be quite problematic. Then came yet another challenge, which was how to properly use the functionalities introduced during a training session that preceded the tournament ( a completely new SAS Viya for Learners environment)”.

The students stressed the fact the participation in the tournament boosted their skills in analysing data sets. They learnt the proper use of the newly learnt environment as well as effective cooperation and distribution of tasks within the team. The jury appreciated first and foremost their collaborative effort and the approach to the initial analysis, that is: learning data. The students remembered the jury saying: you will not successfully analyse data without learning it first.

SAS Data Science Hackathon for students was organised as a virtual event. The competitive selection was evaluated by the jury according to the following performance indicators: methodological soundness, evaluation of the proposed model, innovative/creative potential of the proposed solution, the attractiveness of the presented conclusions and project outcomes. The jury was composed of representatives of the head organiser – the SAS company – as well as industry partners: the National Oncology Institute, Kozminski University, and AstraZeneca Pharma. The tournament was held under the patronage of the Students’ Parliament of the Republic of Poland (PSRP).  

The tournament was preceded by one full day of online training so that the participating students could become familiar with the latest analytical tools, which were made available in free access within the SAS Viya for Learners Platform. 68 participants (24 teams) eventually qualified for the tournament – they represented 18 universities from Warsaw, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Łódź, Poznań, Gliwice, Kraków and Białystok.

The team representing jointly Wrocław University of Technology and the University of Wrocław took second place while the team of students from Łódź University of Technology won third prize. The three winning teams received awards of PLN 6000, PLN 3000 and PLN 1500 – for the first, second and third place respectively. In addition,  members of the best teams will be offered internships and seminars.