Yesterday morning, while driving to work I was listening to the Belgian radio and they come up with the news about a test on a web site, designed and implemented by two swedish researchers, that would reveal to everybody the probability of dying in the next five years. The test is available at the Ubble web site.
Surprisingly, in the evening while driving back home, the same news was being discussed with a little bit more depth and with comments from doctors that warned about the fact that the living context was not taken into consideration, and a lot more. In all evidence the doctors must have been serious alarmed by the wave of concern of people with a high probability of dying in the next 5 years.
What came out after a while in the discussion was that the two researchers (BTW, Mr. Ganna is Italian while Mr. Ingelsson is Swedish) founded their little game on a vast amount of publicly available UK biomedical data, the UK Biobank and this is really interesting from the point of view of Data Mining and Data Science. The test is based on a set of “associations” between a certain number of measures and causes of death. This can be explored. My opinion is that the test is a bit off-topic as all the projections are based on the UK statistics and the UK general lifestile which is however probably not too different from the Belgian one except may be from the point of view of the eating and nutrition habits and the National Health Systems. Anyway, I took the test and I found it funny… …almost.