The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a severe threat to the health of individuals and public health crisis globally, requires united scientific efforts and reliable information resources for research. The limited and spread out/decentralized amount of data regarding the novel coronavirus significantly confines the possibilities of in-depth AI-driven statistical analysis, which potentially would help to identify characteristics of the COVID-19, explore possible evidence-based treatment and prevention options, as well as create data models for further research.
A new HARMONY COVID-19 Data Platform aims to collect data from various sources and with different scope for the acceleration of the novel coronavirus research through the application of the Big Data analysis. Complementing (or expanding) scientific commitment for the benefit of patients beyond the HARMONY Hematology Big Data Platform, we call upon the HARMONY community and new organizations to share local, regional, or national data sets that can contribute to establishing a unique COVID-19 data repository for open research.
In response to the massive demand for data regarding COVID-19, HARMONY takes action to support open research and accelerate large-scale studies towards characterizing SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 disease. In this context, HARMONY targets to gather, harmonize, analyse, and make available for further projects COVID-19-related datasets.
Data integrated within the HARMONY COVID-19 Data Platform will be deployed for two main priorities:
Considering a reliable and secure infrastructure, expertise, and scientific resources, HARMONY wants to contribute to research towards COVID-19. We can respond to current challenges quickly and competently by engaging the network of trusted 90+ public-private partners, cooperating institutions, along with taking advantage of the ready-to-use centralized, secure database ecosystem and expertise gained from the largest of its kind HARMONY Big Data Platform. However, we will ensure the balance between the new measures and HARMONY’s primary goals so that the project will not affect ongoing work on accelerating the development of more effective treatments for people with blood cancer.
In order to maximize the potential effects of statistical analyses using data, and whereas we still know very little about novel coronavirus, HARMONY decided to define flexibly the diversity of the data collected under the new platform. Data collected, will include inter alia: demographics, diagnosis, treatment, details deterministically linked to the individual patient data, clinical trials, observational studies, epidemiological data, inpatient and outpatient electronic patient records, other clinical data and registries, real-world data related to COVID-19.
To review the suitability of individual datasets being at the disposal of potential data donors, we are asking to contact us to discuss the cooperation opportunities under the HARMONY COVID-19 Data Platform. We would like to ensure that all donated data will be anonymized according to the procedures developed under the HARMONY Anonymization Concept, which complies with ethical guidelines and all applicable data protection laws at the EU level, including the consent requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Participation in data sharing for research is an essential scientific and social contribution to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Artificial Intelligence algorithms can discover new relationships in previously dispersed and incomparable data, and thus become a relevant component of different studies. Considering that individual organizations have already gathered, as part of their single activities, meaningful amounts of data since the outbreak of the pandemic, submitting them to the Big Data analysis on the HARMONY COVID-19 Data Platform may be an essential input to answering critical questions related to COVID-19.
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