Real-time analysis of crowdsourced data is used by researchers to identify hotspots to help end the pandemic
When COVID-19 hit the US, public health officials scrambled to collect and analyze as much data as possible about the disease to better understand and share its impact with the public and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) team introduced CovidNearYou.org as a way to crowdsource self-reported symptom data so that public health officials could derive insights about the spread of the disease across North America. Their challenge was to be able to quickly query all the data being collected from a variety of sources and visualize the results so that their research partners could identify patterns and stop the spread of the disease. It was a manual, time-consuming process.
Working with technology partners AtScale and Tableau, the experts at Boston Children’s Hospital were able to seamlessly provide Covid NearYou.org data to public health partners through a live connection between Tableau and the data. Using AtScale’s Cloud OLAP model and Tableau visualizations, Boston Children’s Hospital researchers are able to extract insights from data to help inform the public and the CDC on the state of COVID-19 in real time. Public health officials are able to leverage the self-reported COVID data to develop features for their predictive models, visualize the data in multiple formats and work with recommendations from the CDC to broaden their definitions COVID-like Symptoms.
A majority of public health data is generated from interactions between health providers and patients. COVIDNEARYOU.ORG fills in the reporting gaps left by a majority of those infected by COVID-19 who experience mild illness. Working with AtScale, we are now getting this data into the hands of public health officials to use in their analysis for pandemic response measures.
Using the new CDC definitions, we saw that there were more hot spots than we had seen before. We were able to visualize the data with Tableau and
harness the semantics from AtScale. As new definitions for syndromic surveillance evolve, we created new definitions and applied them across all of our visualizations.
We know how valuable self-reported data can be. When COVID-19 began to circulate within the United States, there was a lack of
testing. Coupled with an ever expanding list of symptoms, public health officials were challenged with understanding the dynamics of this emerging disease. By teaming up with our technology partners like AtScale and Tableau, our group was able to launch covidnearyou.org to supplement disease tracking of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.
Since its release, over one million people in North America have reported their data to CovidNearYou.org. In collaboration with AtScale and Tableau, researchers are able to understand the incidents of illness and make determinations about who is receiving medical treatment and care. The Boston Children’s Hospital team will continue to use AtScale and Tableau with the ultimate goal of ending the pandemic and understanding the public can best overcome it.
Tableau Visualization, Understanding Symptoms by Location from 5/4- 5/17
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Ranked the #1 pediatric hospital in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, Boston Children’s Hospital is dedicated to improving and advancing the health and well-being of children around the world through its life-changing work in clinical care, biomedical research, medical education and community engagement. They treat more children with rare diseases and complex conditions than any other hospital in the world. Boston Children’s Hospital is the primary pediatric teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School.
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