Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Swift Data Sharing to Combat Disease Outbreak! by Dr. Jassim Haji

In the course of disease outbreaks, swift data sharing is critical as it allows for a better understanding of the origins and spread of the infection and can serve as a basis for effective prevention, treatment and care. The capacity of information technologies to allow for low-cost dissemination and collaboration of data have led to the establishment of a multitude of repositories and information technology platforms for data sharing. Most of these data-collection activities are coordinated by international organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. At the same time, an increasing number of bottom-up, open-data initiatives and open-source projects have also been developed, facilitating access to research data and scientific publications as well as sharing blueprints for production of critical medical equipment such as ventilators and face shields.

Open source datasets and software tools to fight COVID-19.

Open source software and collaboration have brought on multiple instances of innovation in the last decade. As we are in the middle of a global health crisis, the significance of the open-source software ecosystem is more critical than ever.

Such open-source datasets can be utilised and linked together to make it easily accessible to the public for different innovative applications. Open-source data is being extensively used to create models, and epidemiological analysis to inform people, help researchers and policymakers regarding COVID-19.

In refrence to data analytics and visualisation, most of the tools are open-source as well, indicating collaboration between certain people and teams to tackle COVID-19.

Open source datasets, such as the one maintained by The John Hopkins are going to have a significant impact. Researchers are already good at prediction/inference scenarios and estimating the effects of medical interventions.

Open Source Collaboration

Huge number of specialists, business people and volunteers globally are building an alternate potential arrangement: making open-source ventilators. With access to simple designs, innovators in places like India, Africa or South America could assemble ventilators quickly and efficiently utilise hardware that is accessible as well as open software systems.

Most ofundamental open-source ventilator models have been found to be taking place through social media channels, and open-source platforms like GitHub. This has sorted out the cost challenges and developed a response strategy to the crisis.

Innovations in Open Source To Fight COVID 19

One example of open-source innovation that deals with an epidemic crisis like COVID-19. The Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System, or SORMAS, is an open-source mobile and web application that empowers healthcare workers to inform hospitals about new instances of infectious diseases, as well as identify potential epidemic outbreaks and control responses. The software was developed for African nations during the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak and is based on interoperable, open-source programming, intended to meet the data and executive needs of national health systems in Africa.

by Dr. Jassim Haji

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