Epidemiologists Build COVID-19 Data Platform—With Help From Google

February 26, 2021

In January of 2020, Samuel Scarpino, director of the Emergent Epidemics Lab at Northeastern University, started inputting data in a globally-shared worksheet. This worksheet was the basis for a new website: Global.health. Anonymized records of five million COVID-19 cases from more than 100 countries are included. Google provided funding and other sources of support to the team, which included scientists at the University of Oxford, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Boston Children’s Hospital, Georgetown, Northeastern, Harvard, and the University of Washington.

Scarpino remarks, “One of the things that we tried to engineer in was the assumption that the data models were going to need to change, because this is an emerging infectious disease and we don’t know what we don’t know. When we launch we’re expecting to have 10 million records from 160 countries. Ninety percent of them have at least 12 fields complete; 50% of the cases have about 25 fields.” Read more here.

(Source: Katie Palmer, STAT News, 2/24/21)

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