Clinicians and researchers around the world are racing to collect data in order to better understand COVID-19 — including risk factors for severe cases, treatment strategies and the viability of various vaccines. But a vital element missing has been a wide-scale database for sharing information as research progresses.
Researchers at the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute (INI), part of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, are hard at work on a solution. The COVID-19 Data Archive, or COVID-ARC, will aggregate data from studies around the world, allowing researchers to access the findings of international colleagues and forge collaborations to advance progress against the disease. The effort is funded by a one-year, $252,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
We saw an urgent need for strategic data management arise as soon as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic,” said Dominique Duncan, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the Keck School and principal investigator for COVID-ARC.
The archive will store a range of data types, including the results of clinical evaluations, vital signs, demographic and geolocation information, imaging results and more. It will also provide researchers with visualization, quality control and data analysis tools to better manage and understand their findings.
Unlike some existing databases which limit researcher access, COVID-ARC will be freely accessible to the public. In some cases, researchers may need to request access to restricted datasets and agree to credit data collectors once findings are published.
Direct to COVID-19 Data Archive (COVID-ARC)