COVID-19

See the following -

Open Source Solutions for Immunization Tracking and COVID-19

The United States is starting to emerge from a nation-wide shut down imposed to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Most states are starting to reopen, and while higher education will likely stay largely remote this fall, primary and secondary schools are expected to reopen as the economy tries to get back on its feet. As both children and adults begin to spend more time together again, it is important to understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on current immunization practices and services, and how open source software is being leveraged to keep the population safe.

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And We Thought Pandemics Were Bad...Time to Examine The Threat from Microplastics

The ocean full of microplastics, and fish are as well. They're in our drinking water. Indeed, "There's no nook or cranny on the surface of the earth that won't have microplastics," Professor Janice Brahney told The New York Times. Dr. Brahney was coauthor on a recent study that found microplastics were pervasive even in supposedly pristine parts of the Western U.S. They estimated that 1,000 tons of "plastic rain" falls every year onto protected areas there; 98% of soil samples they took had microplastics. Dr. Brahney pointed out that, because the particles are both airborne and fine, "we're breathing it, too." She admitted: "It's really unnerving to think about it."

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Bitscopic's Machine Learning Algorithm Detects COVID-19 from Standard Blood Labs

Press Release | Bitscopic | October 2, 2020

Bitscopic Inc., a Silicon Valley based healthcare analytics company, announced today they have developed a machine learning prediction model that can identify COVID-19 infected patients using data from standard laboratory blood tests. The model, published in "Clinical Infectious Diseases," was developed using laboratory data from over 75,000 COVID-19 infected Veteran patients receiving care at VA medical centers. Payam Etminani, Bitscopic's CEO, said: "We are very excited by these results, as it demonstrates that inexpensive and easily attainable patient data can be used to construct a diagnostic fingerprint that can identify symptomatic cases of COVID-19. We are learning how the relatively blunt instrument of routine blood tests, through the power of machine learning, can be crafted into something approaching a precision tool."

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Coronavirus Adds New Stress To Antiquated Health Record-Keeping

Darius Tahir | Politico | March 11, 2020

The U.S. health care system is on the leading edge of many technologies - except when it comes to passing information between doctors, laboratories, and public health officials. And that could add another snarl to the already troubled effort to test for coronavirus. Overreliance on faxing, phones and paper records is problem enough in ordinary times. Adding thousands of coronavirus tests a day will test the ability of providers, labs, and public health officials to keep track of all the results. Because not all results are automatically downloaded into physicians' records, the doctors may need to log into laboratory web portals or, if all else fails, turn to faxes and phones to learn test results.

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Coronavirus and the Recurring Mistake of Fighting the Wrong Wars

What do the coronavirus and Navy ships have in common? For that matter, what do our military spending and our healthcare spending have in common? More than you might think, and it boils down to this: we spend too much for too little, in large part because we tend to always be fighting the wrong wars.I started thinking about this a couple weeks ago due to a WSJ article about the U.S. Navy's "aging and fragmented technology." An internal Navy strategy memo warned that the Navy is "under cyber siege" by foreign adversaries, leaking information "like a sieve." It grimly pointed out...

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Coronavirus Lessons From the Asteroid That Didn't Hit Earth

Benny Peiser and Andrew Monfort | Wall Street Journal | April 2, 2020

London: The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically demonstrated the limits of scientific modeling to predict the future. The most consequential coronavirus model, produced by a team at Imperial College London, tipped the British government, which had until then pursued a cautious strategy, into precipitate action, culminating in the lockdown under which we are all currently laboring. With the Imperial team talking in terms of 250,000 to 510,000 deaths in the U.K. and social media aflame with demands for something to be done, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had no other option. But last week, a team from Oxford University put forward an alternative model of how the pandemic might play out, suggesting a much less frightening future and a speedy end to the current nightmare.

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Corporate Resilience During A Pandemic

As humanity grapples with the spread of COVID-19 globally, the emotional response is to do something, anything, everything. But how do we take that energy and successfully adapt? Most prudent organizations have had on their radar more visible threats like hurricanes, earthquakes, power outages, terrorism, and war. The quiet pervasiveness of a pandemic seems to have caught us by surprise. But is adapting to a pandemic really that different? The good news is that proven principles still apply. Read More »

COVID-19 Will Be The Ultimate Stress Test For Electronic Health Record Systems

Eric D. Perakslis and Erich Huang | STAT | March 12, 2020

As the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 continues its march around the world and through the United States, it is spawning another kind of infection: Covid-19 cyber threats aimed at individuals and health systems. We aren't crying wolf here. Disaster planning experts know all too well that preexisting weaknesses become worse during crises. The WannaCry cyber attack that devastated the United Kingdom's National Health Service is a good example. Outdated infrastructure containing components with long-understood vulnerabilities are a hacker's paradise...The undeniable fact that electronic health record systems are designed to track and bill procedures rather than provide optimal patient care is likely to be on full display as the health system becomes increasingly saturated with Covid-19 patients.

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COVIDLiMS

COVIDLiMS is a complete Laboratory Information Management System (LiMS) – pre-configured with SARS-CoV-2 assay methods, but ready to expand to any other types of testing. It’s the quick-response answer for labs: whenever any new infectious disease appears, simply add the assays you need yourself and begin testing immediately. In fact, CovidLiMS supports absolutely any type of testing at all, and comes with a host of general features to fully manage your laboratory data – safely, securely and reliably – no matter how your business grows.

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Data Management for Large-scale COVID-19 Immunization: This is all not as simple as it seems

There is a global race for the development of a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Finding a vaccine that works and receives approval is only part of the process. There are a series of other steps that need to be taken so that the vaccine can be delivered. These include the mass production of the vaccine, shipment, administration and record-keeping. This may be even more complex as there may be several vaccines. In this article we review some of these issues with a particular focus on the United States.

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From Struggling with a Virus to Celebrating Life at is Virtual Best

This proliferation of, and quest for Virtual Health and Wellbeing solutions, as well as the dire need I'm feeling and observing for more community and human connection, sparked in my mind and heart a new idea for a better way to Learn about, Connect with, and Experience what's best in this rapidly evolving field. This need and passion inspired me to design FestiHealth, the first Virtual Health Festival that's driven by a mission to do good and have fun by educating people about, connecting them to, and engaging them in a healthier, happier life! FestiHealth opens the door for everyone to a brighter and happier future, enabled by a vibrant community that is creating and using innovative Virtual Health & Wellness solutions to make life more enjoyable, and care more accessible and affordable for all.

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Hiding Our Heads in the Sand - Why the US is Unprepared for Pandemics and Disasters

A new report from the Trust for America's Health minces no words. President and CEO John Auerbach charges: COVID-19 has shined a harsh spotlight on the country's lack of preparedness for dealing with threats to Americans' well-being. Years of cutting funding for public health and emergency preparedness programs has left the nation with a smaller-than-necessary public health workforce, limited testing capacity, an insufficient national stockpile, and archaic disease tracking systems - in summary, twentieth-century tools for dealing with twenty-first-century challenges.

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How Laboratories and their Systems can Weather Natural Disasters and Pandemics

We are currently experiencing a global pandemic - which, while perhaps included in disaster preparedness Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by many labs as a possible disaster, still has caught most the infrastructure and health systems of most nations largely unprepared, and is causing major disruption because it was arguably not seen as one of the most likely events. Disaster preparedness has typically tended to focus on IT and data management risks and/or natural disasters. SOPs center around standard, daily lab safety. The truth is that whatever the odds of a particular disaster, they become 100% once they happen. It's important to have sufficient risk-reduction SOPs in play, and a good Continuity Of Operations Plan (COOP) for each potential scenario to ensure the best chance of coping during the event and recovering afterwards.

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How open source software is fighting COVID-19

Since the end of January, the [open source] community has contributed to thousands of open source repositories that mention coronavirus or COVID-19. These repositories consist of datasets, models, visualizations, web and mobile applications, and more, and the majority are written in JavaScript and Python. Previously, we shared information about several open hardware makers helping to stop the spread and suffering caused by the coronavirus. Here, we're sharing four (of many) examples of how the open source software community is responding to coronavirus and COVID-19, with the goal of celebrating the creators and the overall impact the open source community is making on the world right now.

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How to Contribute to Open Source Healthcare Projects for COVID-19

Many of those that are familiar with the maker movement, including me, believe there is a significant opportunity to apply open source design principles and mass-scale collaborative distributed manufacturing technologies (like open source 3D printing) to at least partially overcome medical supply shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic...Many people agree there is enormous potential with the approach despite the challenges and have started to self-organize to develop open source hardware to fight COVID-19. The largest group is Project Open Air. They are a group of "Helpful Engineers" who have congregated to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic response by developing both open source hardware and open source software. The Helpful Engineers are working on medical devices such as open source ventilators, to create a solution that can be quickly reproduced and assembled locally worldwide. Read More »