databuff writes: The April 4 launch of the $3 million Heritage Health Prize was just announced by the Heritage Provider Network, a network of doctors. The competition challenges data hackers to build algorithms that predict who will go to hospital in the next year, so that preventative action can be taken. An algorithm might find that somebody with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol is a 90 per cent risk for hospitalization. Knowing this, it might be cheaper for an HMO to enrol them in an exercise program now rather than pay the likely hospital bill. The competition takes the same approach as $1 million Netflix Prize, but solves a far more significant problem.