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Google.org partners researchers on Global.health

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Google.org has partnered with a group of COVID-19 researchers to unveil Global.health, an open-access epidemiological data platform that enables experts to track spread of diseases in real-time and forecast future outbreaks.

With the support of Google.org, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, Northeastern University and Oxford University created Global.health to leverage data from open-access public health sources to track advancement of diseases.

Google.org Research Fellow, Kernie Obimakinde, said data had always been a vital tool in understanding and fighting diseases, but upholding data privacy had also remained a critical aspect in the design of Global.health.

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“When an outbreak occurs, timely access to organised, trustworthy and anonymised data is critical, as it can help public health providers to formulate early policy, medical interventions and resource allocation, all of which can slow the spread of disease and save lives,” he said.

The Global.health team expressed confidence that the platform would become a major addition to global early warning systems toolbox that would help to identify and respond to future epidemics and pandemics that might occur globally, regionally and nationally.

Earlier research work by the consortium helped in detecting the first wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China from which the World Health Organisation (WHO) was alerted about the scourge.

“Yet, due to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus globally and the pressure it created on systems, the researchers tag-teamed with Google.org to urgently build Global.health,” he added.

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