How data commons help accelerate COVID-19 and long COVID research


A recent study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found several regional differences in the pandemic fatalities data and health disparities, once again stressing how important it is to correctly and accurately curate, analyse, and integrate COVID-19 data and aggregate the results to inform national policies. To address these disparities, researchers developed a pandemic response common (PRC) and called it the 'Chicagoland COVID-19 Commons' (CCC). Commons, otherwise called data commons, involves aggregating data from a wide range of sources into a common unified database to make data more accessible and useful, usually developed for a specific community. The CCC was developed for Chicago, Illinois and the surrounding region.

To facilitate the CCC, Gen3 - a open-source data platform for building data commons and data ecosystems - was used. Gen3 ensures that data is contributed to data commons, it helps build and operate data commons, and enhances the functionality of the commons by allowing members to work in groups, analyse data, and develop applications.

Data commons using Gen3 helped many states in the U.S. to tackle disparities in COVID-19 data including the number of cases and fatalities, and supports long COVID research.

How data commons help accelerate COVID-19 and Long COVID research
Image credit:
2022, Gen3

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