Call for Papers
Machine Learning and Health Care
May 10, 2019

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advances in data science are often described as transformative technologies for the health care sector. They could potentially affect many aspects of health care, including patient diagnosis and treatment selection, ongoing care monitoring, drug discovery and evaluation, and long-term care assessment and preventive care targeting. On all of these dimensions, there could be important effects on the cost of health care services and the marginal return to delivering such services to particular patients.

To explore the implications of recent developments in information technology for the health care sector, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with the support of the National Institute of Aging through the Center for Aging and Health Research at NBER, will convene a research conference on Machine Learning in Health Care on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Cambridge, MA. The conference will be organized by David Cutler (Harvard University and NBER) and Ziad Obermeyer (University of California – Berkeley).

The NBER invites the submission of research papers that bear on all aspects of machine learning, AI, innovations in data science, and related developments, and the health care sector. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers in economics, medicine, and data science. The agenda is broad and oriented towards novel and interesting work at the intersection of these fields, including but not limited to:

- Prediction of disease risk

- Physician decision making, including diagnostics and treatment

- Workflow and automation of health tasks

- Disease measurement, definitions, and subtyping

- Machine vision applied to health data

- Streaming health data and wearables

- Policy decisions, including resource allocation

- Health insurance

- Data privacy and security

- Algorithmic bias, fairness and transparency

- Regulatory oversight of health algorithms

- Drug discovery and therapeutics

Papers will be reviewed by the conference organizers, but not formally peer reviewed or published (i.e., there are no conference proceedings).

Researchers are encouraged to submit papers no later than Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at the following website:

Papers from researchers with and without NBER affiliations are welcome, as are papers from early career scholars and from researchers who are members of groups that are historically under-represented in economics. Because the conference will showcase work from a range of perspectives, please feel free to forward this call for papers to colleagues who may also have interesting work to present.

NBER will cover the hotel and travel cost for up to two authors per paper. Other participants may also attend the meeting if space permits. Participants who are interested in attending the meeting, but who do not have a paper to present, may email Carl Beck in the NBER Conference Department ( Questions about the conference should also be directed to him or to Ziad Obermeyer (

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