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Frequently asked questions

We try to answer most of the questions that are given to us, but feel free to reach out by joining the slack channel if you have any additional questions.

Questions

What is the purpose of collecting all this data?

The purpose is to speed up research by increasing data availability.

Are there defined use cases?

No, we're working on those. There are 2 types of users: providers / volunteers and researchers. We're working both out in parallel

Who is the intended audience?

Given that the purpose is to speed up research, the audience depends a bit on the type of research. We'd like to go as broad as possible but given limited source of volunteers we'll probably focus on the most urgent research on for instance ICU planning, Epidemiology & treatment. The audience for those sets can be Hospital staff, hospital data analysts that will provide answers to ICU staff, governments for effectiveness on policies to reduce the spread, journalists to inform people on why staying inside is important.

Is it really a worldwide effort?

Yes, definitely. Currently the focus lies with priority on the most heavily affected countries where the growth isn't properly curbed, so right now there is a bias towards Iran, Europe and the US. But this will probably shift over the next weeks. Furthermore it depends on if we'll get requests and from which countries those requests will come, and data availability.

Is this a temporary project?

We can't look into the future on how this develops and if volunteers will stick around, but the intention is there to make this a long term process. This pandemic is unprecedented and I hope, if we get good enough data, this repository will be used for decades after.

Is this intended only as an emergency response effort?

No

Is the idea to keep this running long after?

Short answer is yes (see: is this a temporary project).

If so, then how does this change the project?

It's hard to tell. Probably the focus of data requests and collection will switch to less pressing issues right now. On the mid-term for instance how we can best prepare for a new wave of infections in a region, and on the long term how we can detect early onset and proper response to virus outbreaks. This virus isn't the first and won't be the last. Depending on the effectiveness of our work and the interest from volunteers there is a possibility to grow this out to a pandemic research package for more than just COVID-19.

How can I contribute?

Currently we have 40+ volunteers ready to start mining data. Right now we're mainly looking for experts in the medical field to tell us what data they need to speed up research, on everything ranging from epidemiology, to treatment.

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