How Medical Institutions are Sharing Data to Defeat Coronavirus

Photo of author

( — May 23, 2020) —

The coronavirus has upended life as we know it in 2020. Medical institutions are working around the clock to find a vaccine and ensure the safety of people around the world. Let’s take a look at how medical institutions are communicating and sharing data to defeat the coronavirus.


Skipping scientific journals


In a typical year, researchers publish findings in scientific journals. This process can take a considerable amount of time from the initial submission to approval. Once the paper has gotten approval, it is published in a monthly journal for subscribers to read. There are many formalities such as citations, watermarks and credentials. To defeat the coronavirus, institutions have waived this process and are approving submissions from the very start. The idea is to share as much data about a possible vaccination as possible. All of the extras to a paper are omitted for now in order to convey the message very clearly. Once the pandemic is over, authors will go back and give credit to the right individuals. It’s been great to see how much this has expedited the process and how much data is being transferred on a daily basis. Researchers in distant locations are privy to the latest COVID-19 news across the globe, making them stronger, not at the expense of anyone else. This collaboration has advanced our knowledge of the virus so much in 2020.


Open source file sharing


Similarly, medical files are typically protected in a secure file system. However, during the pandemic, these files have become more or less open source for everyone to read. Medical institutions want to share their findings with one another and collaborate as much as possible. These open files are also directed toward anyone with medical knowledge. There’s really no harm to this type of data sharing as fighting this coronavirus is a collective effort. In this day and age, there’s so much technology available on demand. One person on one side of the planet can upload a document on the guidelines for a vaccine, and another person on the other side can print it out for their laboratory. These files come in the form of documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. Researchers are compiling their data in all sorts of formats in order to best visualize the severity of the coronavirus.


Patient statistics


As the coronavirus progresses, hospitals are gathering data about their patients. They are recording the date of admission, age, gender, symptoms and other underlying conditions. Medical professionals are looking for trends in this data to better treat coronavirus patients. It’s also good for the sheer sake of keeping records. In this crisis, institutions are openly sharing this data between each other so each individual institution doesn’t have to accumulate their own. For example, a small town might not have any cases of COVID-19 yet. Their hospital is preparing to admit patients, and they want to know the latest trends with respect to the virus. Receiving data from other hospitals helps immensely to prepare against the worst.


Creating apps


Apps on your mobile phone aren’t just for entertainment. Medical institutions are requesting that programmers create apps to catalogue the coronavirus. These apps can be downloaded by the general public and provide valuable info as to the best practices for staying safe. This is one of the most accessible data formats available; people love a convenient app that they can reference. Similarly, some institutions are creating apps for one another that can be updated as live events unfold. Not only is the quantity of data important, but how quickly it can be spread.




The fight against the coronavirus puts all of humanity on one side. Medical institutions are sharing data and the wealth of their knowledge to defeat the virus. It’s been very impressive over the last few months how the entire medical community has been working together without any hitches.