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1.
Gesundheitswesen ; 83(S 01): S45-S53, 2021 Nov.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500783

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought opportunities and challenges, especially for health services research based on routine data. In this article we will demonstrate this by presenting lessons learned from establishing the currently largest registry in Germany providing a detailed clinical dataset on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infected patients: the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS). METHODS: LEOSS is based on a collaborative and integrative research approach with anonymous recruitment and collection of routine data and the early provision of data in an open science context. The only requirement for inclusion was a SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by virological diagnosis. Crucial strategies to successfully realize the project included the dynamic reallocation of available staff and technical resources, an early and direct involvement of data protection experts and the ethics committee as well as the decision for an iterative and dynamic process of improvement and further development. RESULTS: Thanks to the commitment of numerous institutions, a transsectoral and transnational network of currently 133 actively recruiting sites with 7,227 documented cases could be established (status: 18.03.2021). Tools for data exploration on the project website, as well as the partially automated provision of datasets according to use cases with varying requirements, enabled us to utilize the data collected within a short period of time. Data use and access processes were carried out for 97 proposals assigned to 27 different research areas. So far, nine articles have been published in peer-reviewed international journals. CONCLUSION: As a collaborative effort of the whole network, LEOSS developed into a large collection of clinical data on COVID-19 in Germany. Even though in other international projects, much larger data sets could be analysed to investigate specific research questions through direct access to source systems, the uniformly maintained and technically verified documentation standard with many discipline-specific details resulted in a large valuable data set with unique characteristics. The lessons learned while establishing LEOSS during the current pandemic have already created important implications for the design of future registries and for pandemic preparedness and response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Germany/epidemiology , Health Services Research , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Registries , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Infection ; 49(4): 725-737, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182343

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The ongoing pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has stressed health systems worldwide. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) seem to be more prone to a severe course of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to comorbidities and an altered immune system. The study's aim was to identify factors predicting mortality among SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with CKD. METHODS: We analyzed 2817 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients enrolled in the Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and identified 426 patients with pre-existing CKD. Group comparisons were performed via Chi-squared test. Using univariate and multivariable logistic regression, predictive factors for mortality were identified. RESULTS: Comparative analyses to patients without CKD revealed a higher mortality (140/426, 32.9% versus 354/2391, 14.8%). Higher age could be confirmed as a demographic predictor for mortality in CKD patients (> 85 years compared to 15-65 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 6.49, 95% CI 1.27-33.20, p = 0.025). We further identified markedly elevated lactate dehydrogenase (> 2 × upper limit of normal, aOR 23.21, 95% CI 3.66-147.11, p < 0.001), thrombocytopenia (< 120,000/µl, aOR 11.66, 95% CI 2.49-54.70, p = 0.002), anemia (Hb < 10 g/dl, aOR 3.21, 95% CI 1.17-8.82, p = 0.024), and C-reactive protein (≥ 30 mg/l, aOR 3.44, 95% CI 1.13-10.45, p = 0.029) as predictors, while renal replacement therapy was not related to mortality (aOR 1.15, 95% CI 0.68-1.93, p = 0.611). CONCLUSION: The identified predictors include routinely measured and universally available parameters. Their assessment might facilitate risk stratification in this highly vulnerable cohort as early as at initial medical evaluation for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Humans , Logistic Models , Middle Aged , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/immunology , Risk Factors , Young Adult
4.
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 27(11): 1721-1726, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024117

ABSTRACT

Global pandemics call for large and diverse healthcare data to study various risk factors, treatment options, and disease progression patterns. Despite the enormous efforts of many large data consortium initiatives, scientific community still lacks a secure and privacy-preserving infrastructure to support auditable data sharing and facilitate automated and legally compliant federated analysis on an international scale. Existing health informatics systems do not incorporate the latest progress in modern security and federated machine learning algorithms, which are poised to offer solutions. An international group of passionate researchers came together with a joint mission to solve the problem with our finest models and tools. The SCOR Consortium has developed a ready-to-deploy secure infrastructure using world-class privacy and security technologies to reconcile the privacy/utility conflicts. We hope our effort will make a change and accelerate research in future pandemics with broad and diverse samples on an international scale.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , Computer Security , Coronavirus Infections , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Privacy , COVID-19 , Humans , Information Dissemination/ethics , Internationality , Machine Learning
5.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 8(11): e22594, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976111

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 rapidly spread around the world, causing the disease COVID-19. To contain the virus, much hope is placed on participatory surveillance using mobile apps, such as automated digital contact tracing, but broad adoption is an important prerequisite for associated interventions to be effective. Data protection aspects are a critical factor for adoption, and privacy risks of solutions developed often need to be balanced against their functionalities. This is reflected by an intensive discussion in the public and the scientific community about privacy-preserving approaches. OBJECTIVE: Our aim is to inform the current discussions and to support the development of solutions providing an optimal balance between privacy protection and pandemic control. To this end, we present a systematic analysis of existing literature on citizen-centered surveillance solutions collecting individual-level spatial data. Our main hypothesis is that there are dependencies between the following dimensions: the use cases supported, the technology used to collect spatial data, the specific diseases focused on, and data protection measures implemented. METHODS: We searched PubMed and IEEE Xplore with a search string combining terms from the area of infectious disease management with terms describing spatial surveillance technologies to identify studies published between 2010 and 2020. After a two-step eligibility assessment process, 27 articles were selected for the final analysis. We collected data on the four dimensions described as well as metadata, which we then analyzed by calculating univariate and bivariate frequency distributions. RESULTS: We identified four different use cases, which focused on individual surveillance and public health (most common: digital contact tracing). We found that the solutions described were highly specialized, with 89% (24/27) of the articles covering one use case only. Moreover, we identified eight different technologies used for collecting spatial data (most common: GPS receivers) and five different diseases covered (most common: COVID-19). Finally, we also identified six different data protection measures (most common: pseudonymization). As hypothesized, we identified relationships between the dimensions. We found that for highly infectious diseases such as COVID-19 the most common use case was contact tracing, typically based on Bluetooth technology. For managing vector-borne diseases, use cases require absolute positions, which are typically measured using GPS. Absolute spatial locations are also important for further use cases relevant to the management of other infectious diseases. CONCLUSIONS: We see a large potential for future solutions supporting multiple use cases by combining different technologies (eg, Bluetooth and GPS). For this to be successful, however, adequate privacy-protection measures must be implemented. Technologies currently used in this context can probably not offer enough protection. We, therefore, recommend that future solutions should consider the use of modern privacy-enhancing techniques (eg, from the area of secure multiparty computing and differential privacy).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Mobile Applications , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , Computer Security , Humans , Pandemics , Privacy
6.
Sci Data ; 7(1): 435, 2020 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972239

ABSTRACT

The Lean European Open Survey on SARS-CoV-2 Infected Patients (LEOSS) is a European registry for studying the epidemiology and clinical course of COVID-19. To support evidence-generation at the rapid pace required in a pandemic, LEOSS follows an Open Science approach, making data available to the public in real-time. To protect patient privacy, quantitative anonymization procedures are used to protect the continuously published data stream consisting of 16 variables on the course and therapy of COVID-19 from singling out, inference and linkage attacks. We investigated the bias introduced by this process and found that it has very little impact on the quality of output data. Current laws do not specify requirements for the application of formal anonymization methods, there is a lack of guidelines with clear recommendations and few real-world applications of quantitative anonymization procedures have been described in the literature. We therefore believe that our work can help others with developing urgently needed anonymization pipelines for their projects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Data Anonymization , Pandemics , Registries , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomedical Research , Confidentiality , Datasets as Topic , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
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