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Stat Med ; 40(24): 5131-5151, 2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279392


As the world faced the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020, numerous clinical trials were initiated in many locations in an effort to establish the efficacy (or lack thereof) of potential treatments. As the pandemic has been shifting locations rapidly, individual studies have been at risk of failing to meet recruitment targets because of declining numbers of eligible patients with COVID-19 encountered at participating sites. It has become clear that it might take several more COVID-19 surges at the same location to achieve full enrollment and to find answers about what treatments are effective for this disease. This paper proposes an innovative approach for pooling patient-level data from multiple ongoing randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that have not been configured as a network of sites. We present the statistical analysis plan of a prospective individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis (MA) from ongoing RCTs of convalescent plasma (CP). We employ an adaptive Bayesian approach for continuously monitoring the accumulating pooled data via posterior probabilities for safety, efficacy, and harm. Although we focus on RCTs for CP and address specific challenges related to CP treatment for COVID-19, the proposed framework is generally applicable to pooling data from RCTs for other therapies and disease settings in order to find answers in weeks or months, rather than years.

COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 27(11): 1721-1726, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024117


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.

Biomedical Research , Computer Security , Coronavirus Infections , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Privacy , COVID-19 , Humans , Information Dissemination/ethics , Internationality , Machine Learning