Challenge Open Access

2018 IEEE BHI and BSN Data Challenge

Tom Pollard Alistair Johnson Jesse Raffa

Published: Feb. 5, 2018. Version: 1.0

When using this resource, please cite: (show more options)
Pollard, T., Johnson, A., & Raffa, J. (2018). 2018 IEEE BHI and BSN Data Challenge (version 1.0). PhysioNet.

Please include the standard citation for PhysioNet: (show more options)
Goldberger, A., Amaral, L., Glass, L., Hausdorff, J., Ivanov, P. C., Mark, R., ... & Stanley, H. E. (2000). PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: Components of a new research resource for complex physiologic signals. Circulation [Online]. 101 (23), pp. e215–e220.


In collaboration with the IEEE Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI) 2018 and the IEEE Conference on Body Sensor Networks (BSN), we are hosting a challenge to explore real clinical questions in critically ill patients using the MIMIC-III database. Participants in the challenge will be invited to present at the BHI & BSN Annual Conference in Las Vegas, USA (4-7 March 2018):


The 2018 IEEE BHI & BSN Data Challenge asks participants to carry out a retrospective study using the MIMIC-III Database [1,2]. This year’s research question is focused on a controversial and important logistical issue hospitals encounter every week:

Are patients admitted to the intensive care unit on a weekend more likely to die in the hospital than those admitted on a weekday?

Teams must register for the challenge using the following form before midnight (PST) on 1 March 2018

Challenge entries must be submitted in the form of a 7-minute research presentation, which should be emailed to before 7am (PST) Wednesday 7 March 2018.

Guidelines for entering the challenge and preparing the presentation are outlined below.


Participating teams have one month to carry out a research project using the MIMIC-III database. Final submissions must be sent for consideration by noon (PST) on 6 March 2018.

  • Challenge announced: 5 February 2018
  • Deadline for registration of teams: 1 March 2018 or as space permits
  • Office hours and help with projects: 6 March 2018 (2.15pm-3.45pm) in Treasure Island F.
  • Deadline for final submission: 6 March 2018
  • Challenge Presentations: 7 March 2018 (8.50am-11:35am) in Treasure Island F.
  • Awards: 7 March 2018: 5.50pm.

Sample code is available at: For example, see these Jupyter Notebooks in Python and R.

Registration checklist

  1. Register your team using the following form:

  2. Get access to the data by following the instructions at:

    • Participants should complete human subjects ethics training.

    • Select ‘Massachusetts Institute of Technology Affiliates’ as your organization affiliation.

    • Please complete the “Data or Specimens Only Research” training program.

    • Participants need to agree to the MIMIC-III data use agreement.

    • Please submit the completion report (not the certificate)

    • For the ‘General research area for which the data will be used’ field, please use: ‘BHI & BSN Data Challenge 2018’.

  3. Mark your calendar for the presentation session at the BHI & BSN Annual Conference in Las Vegas on 7 March 2018.

Submission checklist

  1. Prepare your slides in PDF or PPT format:

    • A slide template is provided at:, but there is no requirement to use it.

    • Presentations will be allotted at most 7 minutes.

    • Presentations must include: methodology, results and conclusions.

  2. Is your project reproducible?

    • Is your code publicly available?

    • Could someone replicate your study cohort and analysis easily?

    • Have you clearly cited your data sources?

  3. Have you practiced and timed your presentation?

  4. Have you emailed your presentation to the challenge organizers?

  5. Please arrive the conference room of the presentation session at least 15 minutes in advance of the start of the session and introduce yourself to the session chair.

Data Description

Participants will use the MIMIC-III database, which comprises routinely collected data for critical care patients for over 50,000 hospital stays. There is a formal process for requesting access to MIMIC-III, which is described at:

Gaining access to the full MIMIC-III dataset may take several days, so we suggest using the MIMIC-III demo while waiting to gain full access [3].


At least one member of a team must be able to attend the BHI & BSN Annual Conference in Las Vegas, USA 4-7 March 2018 to give a short presentation at the event on 7 March 2018.

Project entries will be assessed by a judging panel on the following criteria:

  • Reproducibility
  • Scientific methods
  • Presentation
  • Novelty


The organizers would like to thank Google Cloud and Georgia Tech for supporting the event. We also thank Prof. May Wang and Paul Church for technical and organizational advice.

Conflicts of Interest

No conflicts of interest.


  1. Johnson AEW, Pollard TJ, Shen L, Lehman L, Feng M, Ghassemi M, Moody B, Szolovits P, Celi LA, and Mark RG. MIMIC-III, a freely accessible critical care database. Scientific Data (2016). DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2016.35. Available from:
  2. Johnson, A., Pollard, T., Mark, R. (2016). MIMIC-III Clinical Database. PhysioNet. doi:10.13026/C2XW26
  3. Johnson, A., Pollard, T., Mark, R. (2019). MIMIC-III Clinical Database Demo. PhysioNet. doi:10.13026/C2HM2Q

Parent Projects
2018 IEEE BHI and BSN Data Challenge was derived from: Please cite them when using this project.

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