The BY-Covid Project aims to make data of infectious diseases accessible to the public to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will benefit not just scientists and doctors but also policymakers and researchers in creating structural changes to the healthcare ecosystem. The project seeks to address several of the challenges that stand in the way of aggregation and collection of medical data. For example, lack of standardisation in data collection practices, or the presence of multiple data agencies and varied reporting sources, often led to discrepancies in the final public health reports being generated. Moreover, epidemiological factors cannot be simply detected by data compiling tools.
The BY-Covid project aims to overcome this with a unique 4-step process. Beginning with the creation of core data hubs where data can be submitted from around the world, it will move towards combining and interlinking infectious disease data. For example, clinical data will be interlinked with viral data. In the third step, a standardised data collection process would be formulated which will reduce any room for errors and discrepancies. Finally, in the fourth step, set protocols and methods for data analysis would be devised.
This one-of-its-kind collaborative project has brought together 53 partners and 19 countries to build pandemic-readiness for the future and develop a robust responding capability for the same. Such an interdisciplinary approach creates new vistas for cross-pollination of ideas across varied domains, that will add up to the existing knowledge we have regarding infectious diseases. Of course, we cannot totally avoid any pandemic outbreak in the future, but if it were to happen, we can have a robust data-backed approach through which we can devise a strategy to deal with it.
Learn more about the BY-Covid Project.