Open science initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic (as of June 2021)

Version 47

    Contact: Alan Paic, Senior Policy Analyst, Science and Technology Policies, alan.paic@oecd.org

     

    The author acknowledges inputs received from CODATA; European Commission, DG Research and Innovation; the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, National Academies of Sciences, USA; Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; NISTEP Japan, Research Data Alliance; M. Stankovic (Tambourine Ventures, USA); V. Stodden (University of Illinois, USA).

     

    Table of contents

    Open science initiatives related to the COVID-19 pandemic (list as of June 29, 2020)

    Policy response to COVID-19 pandemic 

    Policy initiatives 

    Funding for COVID-related open science initiatives 

    Open science commitments 

    Open data, publications and patents commitments 

    Interoperability and standardisation initiatives

    Collaborative platforms 

    Computing resources for COVID-19 

    Challenges and prizes 

    Modelling (epidemiology)

    AI-powered search engines 

    Genomics and clinical research 

    Crowdsourcing platforms 

    Data resources 

    Multidisciplinary platforms with epidemiological, clinical and research data 

    National sources (epidemiology)

    International repositories (epidemiology)

    Transport, mobility and trade data 

    Contact tracing mobile apps - #covtech 

    Genomic, proteomic, metabolomics data for researchers:

    Pharmacology data 

    Clinical data, including trials 

    Patient records 

    Treatment guidelines 

    Scientific publications 

    Preprint servers 

    Aggregator publication repositories 

    Scientific publishers 

    Scientific journals

    Policy response to COVID-19 pandemic

    Policy initiatives

    • OECD contributions to tackle COVID-19: provides a centralized resource containing OECD analysis, data, and policy recommendation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • OECD STI Policy COVID-19 Watch presents the results of an OECD survey on the science and innovation policy responses to coronavirus (COVID-19).
    • Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), by Oxford University: aims to track and compare government responses to the coronavirus outbreak worldwide rigorously and consistently. It has added obtained data from more than 180 countries and in 2021 new vaccination policies indicators were added to the Tracker.
    • Open Government Approaches to COVID-19 provided by the Open Government Partnership, an organisation bringing together 79 countries, a growing number of local governments and thousands of civil society organisations, with the mission of achieving open government data globally.
    • The Overton COVID-19 Policy Dataset provides policy documents (guidance, policies, white papers, strategies and so on) from 2020 relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, from non-governmental, inter-governmental organisations, as well as national governments. It is provided by Overton, a private company providing a searchable index of policy documents, publications and working papers.
    • Health Data Research UK has a COVID-19 Strategy updated weekly. Priority 2 is to accelerate safe access to UK wide priority data relevant to COVID-19 for research. Privacy preservation is also a high priority under the ‘Five safes’ framework. Agreement on national standards for COVID-19 is foreseen. As of June 2021, 86 National Core Study priority datasets were made available, with 83 of them listing detailed metadata. Developing standardised protocols across regions to support vaccine research and surveillance was identified as an emerging priority.
    • The COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker provides information on measures adopted by IP offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the extension of deadlines. In addition, the policy tracker provides information on legislative and regulatory measures for access and voluntary actions.
    • The Kaiser Family Foundation is an American non-profit organization that focuses on major health care issues in the US. Through its coronavirus policy watch, it provides policy studies of covid-19 related policy initiatives in the US. In 2020 it has published a daily updated dataset which contains the total number of hospital beds in the country. In addition, it has developed an interactive map about State level data and policy actions to address the pandemic. In 2021, it has published the KFF Vaccine Monitor with data on the demographic profiles of unvaccinated citizens.

    Funding for COVID-related open science initiatives

    • The European Open Science Cloud set up a fast-track funding for COVID-19 related activities on 27 March 2020, which targets opening up scientific data on the virus, sharing live on-the-ground data on the spread of the virus, as well as software, standards and processes for monitoring COVID-19 treatment and development, accessing and combining this data not only to eradicate the virus but learn how to deal with similar viruses and future outbreaks, and assessing the validity of epidemic information in relation to the virus by ensuring that its sources can be traced and verified. The deadline for application was on June the 12th, 2020 and beneficiary projects address up-to-date mapping of treatment and vaccine development, a dataset of media releases from Poland related to COVID-19 for Opean Research and AI as well as geographical information for monitoring and predicting COVID-19 outbreaks.
    • A comprehensive list of R&D funding initiatives relative to COVID-19 has been collected by the OECD’s Global Science Forum and can be found here.
    • In May 2020, the European Commission registered €15.9 billion in pledges from donors worldwide during the Coronavirus Global Response pledging event. The aim is to gather significant funding to ensure the collaborative development and universal deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus.

    Open science commitments

    Open data, publications and patents commitments

    • In January 2020, 117 organisations – including journals, funding bodies, and centres for disease prevention – signed a statement on ‘Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel coronavirus outbreak’, committing to provide immediate open access for peer-reviewed publications at least for the duration of the outbreak, to make research findings available via preprint servers, and to share results immediately with the World Health Organization (WHO). An additional statement ‘Publishers make coronavirus (COVID-19) content freely available and reusable’ signed on March 16 by 30 publishers, commits to make all coronavirus-related publications and the underlying data immediately accessible in PubMed Central and other public repositories.
    • Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions is a joint commitment by CODATA, GO FAIR, RDA and WDS to recognise the need for access to quality data for policy responses. This comprises guidance on FAIR data, in particular on data-sharing and re-use as well as data access, interoperability and re-use across displinary and institutional boundaries.
    • GloPID-R (Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness) is a unique international network of major research funding organizations. It has issued a Global Roadmap for Data sharing in public health emergencies, calling on funders to harmonise data sharing policies, align tools and strengthen capacity, build trust, influence funders outside the network, and strengthen systems for data sharing.
    • On March 30th 2020, UNESCO convened 122 countries (77 of which were represented at a Ministerial level) to promote open science and reinforce cooperation in the face of COVID-19. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called on governments to reinforce scientific cooperation and integrate open science in their research programmes to prevent and mitigate global crises. An Open access platform has been set up to facilitate research and information on COVID-19.
    • Open COVID Pledge, an international coalition of scientists and lawyers, calls on authors to make all IP under their control available to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the impact of the disease, free of charge and without encumbrances. The pledge is signed by 33 large corporations and organisations including Intel, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, Sandia National Laboratories, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Uber, Open Knowledge Foundation, the Masachussetts Institute of Technology. The signatories (pledgors) offer a specific non-exclusive royalty-free Open COVID license to use IP for the purpose of diagnosing, preventing and treating COVID-19..
    • The COVID-19 Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free (NERF) License has been produced by Knowledge Transfer Ireland to produce a simple two page agreement that is aimed at speeding up the dissemination of critical COVID-19 related intellectual property from Irish universities and institutes of technology to companies. The NERF Licence is the result of a desire by higher education institutes nationwide to support the search for, and the development of, new technologies to help bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. Under normal circumstances, IP is licenced through a process of negotiation between both parties under which royalties and exclusivity of use are clearly detailed and agreed. The COVID-19 NERF provides cutting edge IP free of charge to organisations engaged in critical research and development activities for the sole purposes of diagnosing, preventing, containing, treating and/or minimising the impact of the virus.
    • Statement on open and sustainable knowledge by the Spanish Library Consortia, the High Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) and the Network of Spanish University Libraries (REBIUN) urges research institutions, publishers and providers of information services to accelerate the transition towards Open Access in an economically sustainable way.
    • Joint statement of the members of the European Council. On 26 March 2020, European Ministers unite to make 22 points on where they will collaborate to combat the pandemic, one point being to collaborate worldwide and to promote the urgency in sharing scientific information in the shortest possible time, making it available to all those in need.
    • Joint statement of the mebers of the European Council. On 25 March 2021, the European Council published a statement regarding COVID-19 and Europe’s economic recovery. Members stress the importance of the digital transformation for the recovery of Europe and call for better using the potential of data while upholding data protection, privacy and other fundamental rights. In addition, they recognise the need for common data spaces, including ensuring the access to and interoperability of data. Finally, Members invite co-legislators of the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act and the Data Governance Act proposals to maintain the vision to improve access to, and the sharing, pooling and re-use of data
    • In June 2021, the United States launched an initiative to make data more open for AI researchers. The National Artificial Intelligence Research Task Force will draft a proposal which would enable researchers to obtain secure access to anonymous data on U.S. citizens including on demographics, health and driving habits a.o. It is also foreseen to provide enhanced infrastructurs such as increased computing power for the analysis of such data and educational tools. The task force will look into opportunites for granting more open access while protecting citizens’ privacy and other ethical considerations. The task force will release related reports in May and November 2022.

    Interoperability and standardisation initiatives

    • RDA COVID-19 Working Group - The Research Data Alliance set up a Working Group to define detailed guidelines on data sharing and re-use under the present COVID-19 circumstances according to best practice, aiming at developing a system for data sharing in public health emergencies that supports scientific research, including a common framework, common tools and processes, and principles which can be embedded in research practice. After reaching its main objective, namely the publication of an extensive report in June 2020, the Working Group continued working on data-sharing issues, such as an ethical and legal ‘sub-group’ which published a pre-print on international transfers of health data.
    • CODATA Decadal Programme ‘Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges' – a programme to assist the scientific and innovation communities to accelerate scientific understanding through a step change in the application of interdisciplinary data-intensive methodologies and thereby enable more efficient and transparent science to address global challenges. Work on combining infectious disease data will be extended to include an examination of pandemic epidemiology data, with reference to the urgent case of COVID-19, and in preparation for future resilience.
    • The Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN) GO FAIR Implementation Network, an initiative created by the GO FAIR Foundation also calls for truly machine readable, interoperable and re-usable data on the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • AfricArXiv COVID-19 interconnect platforms related to resources, ideas and guidelines around COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and encourages interoperable and synergetic Africa-specific initiatives.

    Collaborative platforms

    Computing resources for COVID-19

    • The White House announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the world’s most powerful high performance computing resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus. Over 600 petaflops, 165,000 nodes, 6.8 Million CPU cores, 50,000 GPUs, and counting. This initiative has received 190 proposals to date from researchers whose work could be conducted more quickly with the help of ultra-fast computers. Those proposals focus on studying the protein structure of the virus; identifying sites where molecules can bind to coronavirus cells; and forecasting the spread of the virus. As of June 2021, researchers are still invited to submit COVID-19 related research proposals to the consortium via this online portal, which will then be reviewed for matching with computing resources from one of the partner institutions. Close to 100 projects have been supported. The group is now advocating for a formal organisation called the National Strategic Computing Reserve which would equip researchers with access to software expertise, data and computing resources in future crises.
    • Computing resource at the Flemish Supercomputing system - COVID-19 Academic and industry research special project call. Computing capacity on the Tier-1 system (BrENIAC) are reserved for a period of 8 weeks. Capacity at the Tier-2 infrastructure at university level can also be made available. Applications will be validated by by the Flanders Research Foundation. Resources will be granted on a First Come First Served basis. Companies will be awarded exploratory access. On 3 February 2021, VSC announced its continuation of its offer to provide additional computation and data resources.
    • Folding@home is a distributed computing project for performing molecular dynamics simulations of protein dynamics. Its initial focus was on protein folding but has shifted to more biomedical problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, COVID-19, and Ebola. The project uses the idle processing resources of personal computers owned by volunteers who have installed the software on their systems. At peak, over 280,000 GPUs and 4.8 Million CPU cores helped simulate proteins to find new treatments for COVID-19. The combined computing power reached 1.55 exaFlops on March 25, 2020 - the first computing facility to exceed one exaFlop. The project has pioneered the utilization of central processing units (CPUs), graphics processing units (GPUs), PlayStation 3s, Message Passing Interface (used for computing on multi-core processors), and some Sony Xperia smartphones for distributed computing and scientific research. The project uses a statistical simulation methodology that is a paradigm shift from traditional computing methods. A significant contribution to Folding@Home is also being given by institutions, such as the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), one of the top contributors to the project.
    • Canadian firm D-Wave is giving researchers and companies studying the novel coronavirus free access to its early-stage, experimental quantum computing machines over the cloud. In partnership with Volkswagen AG, Denso Group and startup Menten AI, they are also offering assistance to researchers with programming the quantum computer.
    • The Associazione Big Data (ABD) promotes fast access to high-performance supercomputing facilities owned and managed by the members of the Association for projects that aim to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The members of the ABD that joined the action are the Interuniversity Consortium High Performance Systems (CINECA), the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change (CMCC),  the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Developmen (ENEA), the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, and the National Center for Frame Analysis (CNAF). They represent the majority of high performance computing capability at the national level. The aim of this cooperation is the identification of new therapeutic practices, the study of viral antibodies, the knowledge of the molecular structure of the virus and its mutations, the preparation of an effective vaccine based on ‘in silico’[1] research and development methods, and the elaboration and diffusion of containment models for the epidemic.

    Challenges and prizes

    • Kaggle challenge on the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) is promoted by the White House and the National Libraries of Medicine, and operationalised by Kaggle (subsidiary of Google). The CORD-19 publication data set is to be used to answer a set of open questions about COVID-19 that were identified by WHO and the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, including transmission, incubation, and environmental stability; (ii) risk factors; (iii) virus genetics, origin, and evolution; (iv) vaccines and therapeutics; (v) non-pharmaceutical interventions; (vi) geography influence on virality; (vii) medical care; (viii) diagnostics and surveillance); (ix) medical care; social science considerations; and (xi) information sharing and inter-sectoral considerations.
    • #EUvsVirus – a Pan-European Hackathon to mobilise European innovators and civil society sponsored by the European Commission. The hackathon took place 24-26 April and was followed by a Matchathon in May. In total 2164 multi-disciplinary, multi-nationality teams participated with innovative solutions that resulted in 120 projects.This sparked the development of 2235 new cross-European partnerships by matching the best 120 teams with 500+ supportive partners from the public and private sectors. Winning teams include Team Discover which proposes a patient monitoring system which minimizes physical contact between nurses and patients; Linistry helps limit the number of retail customers in-store and manage queues at the entrance; Aidbind, a platform to connect charities wishing to donate medical supplies and equipment with the hospitals; The Village, a distance learning platform; Bankera Business Care dedicated to financing cash-strapped SMEs in the pandemic, while Sewers4COVID integrates sewer surveillance and machine learning for early warning on pandemic outbreak.
    • The European Institute for Technology Health COVID-19 site matches innovators with a task force of experts to develop commercially-viable products and services. Examples include ventilator designs, innovative testing technologies, and techniques to prevent aerosol infections at dentists’.
    • Medical Robotics for Contagious Diseases Challenge 2020 The UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network was looking for ideas for the use of medical robot technologies in areas such as disease prevention, diagnostics, screening, patient care and disease management. Applicants have to send a 2-minute video demonstration to enter. The prize fund is GBP 15,000 and winners include ‘UVC-PURGE: A semi-autonomous Virus Disinfection Robot’ and ‘Telerobotics for Remote Control of Medical Equipment in Contagious Environments’.
    • IBM’s Call for Code Global Challenge has expanded the focus to tackle the effects of COVID-19. IBM is offering $200,000 in grants for developers to address three main areas where technology can help in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic: handling crisis communication during an emergency, ways to improve remote learning, and apps that enable local communities to cooperate. The winners for the COVID-19 thematic objectives are Business Buddy, a one-stop shop for personalised and responsive COVID-19 updates to small businesses; SafeQueue, an open-source powered solution to keep customers safe at small businesses; and SchoolListIt, an app for parents to keep track of their children’s schoolwork.
    • The European Commission’s European Innovation Council (EIC) has set up an “e-pitching session” for SME’s to sell their COVID-19-related products and services (medical devices, supply chain, biotech and drug innovations). A first session on April 15 enabled start-ps to pitch in front of investors. The winner was Smart separations, a company producing smart coatings to destroy Coronavirus on surfaces and in the air. The first procurement session was held on April 30, with 20 SMEs and 5 large companies pitched to more than 50 public and private procurers – hospital groups, health services and other public organisation from 15 European member states and Columbia. The most successful companies were Eyecontrol which provides a communication device for ventilated and locked-in patients, and Respinor, a company developing a medical device for continuous diaphragm monitoring.
    • MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, provides USD 1.5 million in prize funding for Solve's 2020 Global Challenges, including Health Security & Pandemics. The call for proposals is directed towards immediate concerns such as improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analysing data to inform decision making, and providing tools to support and protect health workers. Research teams, organisations or individuals anywhere in the world can apply. Application were accepted until 18 June and winning projects include Moskeet, a disease management platform for prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases, and MapSights, a spatial and temporal predictive analytics Decision Support System for COVID-19 management.
    • The Aspen Tech Policy Hub COVID-19 Challenge Grant invited applications from technologists for projects that will help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and offered up to $15,000 over 3 months to work on the projects. Illustrative project topics were quoted as: providing best practices on mitigating cybersecurity risks while small businesses are shut; (ii) providing data analysis of and/or real time COVID-19 information to health care workers; (iii) using emerging technologies such as virtual reality to mitigate the effects of social isolation; and (iv) using automated systems to inform citizens about the status of the outbreak locally. The winning projects were announced on June 1, 2020 and include a ‘COVID-19 Misinformation Map for Journalists’, which uses data science to make available information on the pandemic more useful to reporters; Suggestion Box, a design toolkit to improve COVID-19 response plans throughout the school year; The CrowdMeter Project, an app to help reduce spreading the virus by making informed decision about where and when to run their errands, and many more.
    • The Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) international community hosted a COVID-19 virtual study-a-thon March 26-29 to inform healthcare decision-making in response to the current global pandemic. The Study-a-thon investigated COVID-19 characterisation, phenotype definitions and evaluations, COVID-19 treatment safety and efficacy, viral prediction models and existing treatment experiments. Study-a-thons are short, concentrated gatherings of multidisciplinary group of scientists aimed at answering an important and clinically relevant research question using the OMOP data model and OHDSI tools. OHDSI is a multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary collaborative to bring out the value of health data through large-scale analytics. All the solutions are open-source. OHDSI has established an international network of researchers and observational health databases with a central coordinating centre housed at Columbia University.
    • The Mercatus Center at George Mason University announced on March 13 a series of prizes through its Emergent Ventures program for innovators working to combat COVID-19. Prize categories include ‘Best investigative journalism on coronavirus’, ‘Best blog or social media tracking/analysis of the virus’, ‘Best coronavirus policy writing’, ‘Best effort to find a good treatment rapidly’, ‘Best innovation in social distancing’, and prizes range from USD 50k – 500k.
    • The Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) launched on May 1st 2020 the Billion Molecules against COVID 19 Grand Challenge in the field of COVID-19 drug discovery that will combine molecular dynamics and machine learning, with awards of up to € 2 million for the winners. Over 54 billion molecules have been screened and as of February 20, 2021, 878 of the most promising molecules have been synthetised and those did not exist in any molecular library worldwide before. JEDI was set up in 2018 as a proposal to set up a European agency for disruptive innovation.
    • The OECD’ Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, in partnerships with Govinsider, a Singaporean start-up and the Centre for Public Impact, a non-profit by the Boston Consulting Group has issued a call for innovative government solutions to COVID-19. Submissions are invited to include patient care, protection of front line workers, information and practice sharing, resource management, governance responses, real-time collection, crowdsourcing solutions, etc.
    • In Portugal, the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) has issued an urgent Research 4 Covid-19 call for innovative projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, application between 24 March and 5 April. A total 66 projects are financed for a total of € 1.8M. A second call was launched one month later and 54 projects were financed with a total of more than € 2M. 
    • Spain: The Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) which depends on the Ministry of Science and Innovation, has launched the COVID-19 call to finance research projects on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. This call supported more than 117 projects and had € 24M available as approved by Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, 17 March 2020, on extraordinary urgent measures to deal with the economic and social impact of the new coronavirus.
    • MinCienciatón, an initiative to confront COVID-19 through the use of the STI, organised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia (with the support of the Colombian Ministry of Health). Researchers, innovators, scientists and academics participated in this 6.6 MUSD call and seven days to submit proposals that will help, for example, the interpretation of data for decision making, and technology that will facilitate the protection of healthcare personnel and patient care in mitigating symptoms. The initiative mobilized more than 500 research groups throughout the country, and the 25 best projects were awarded financing from 125-500 kUSD.
    • The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the University of Auckland is dedicating two velocity innovation challenges of NZD 40,000 to find solutions for the current COVID-19 crisis. Two other prizes of NZD 1000 on social and economic innovation challenges have also been organized organized. The open application process closed on May, 11th. The winner of the social innovation prize was ‘CirclueOut’, a digital learning platform that connects young people and enables them to learn from one another. The winner of the commercial innovation prize was ‘RosterLab’, a web app that creates quality rosters for hospitals by utilizing artificial intelligence research ad cloud computing.
    • The European Space Agency, in coordination with the European Commission, has launched a special edition of the Custom Script Contest, focused on the support of space assets during the COVID-19 Crisis. The quest is for ideas on how satellite data could help monitor and mitigate the situation for the upcoming months, while the world will organize to get back to business and will need to adapt from this crisis. The Contest took place from 6th of April to 31st of May 2020. The overall winning idea was ‘Truck Detection-Sensing Trade From Space' by Henrik Fisser. The best ideas were presented to the European Commission in the context of the dossier that the European Space Agency is preparing on space as a support to the COVID-19 emergency.
    • The Pandemic Response Challenge Program connencts Canadian and international researchers into a fast-track research and development lane aimed at solving COVID-19 related challenges identified by Canada's health experts. The areas of focus are structured around four pillars: rapid detection and diagnosis, therapeutics and vaccine development, digital health technology, and enabling adapative responsive. One call on ‘molecular assay for instrument-less SARS-CoV-2 rapid diagnostic from saliva' was closed on June, 15th. A total of $ 15M in funding were allocated to Challenge programs to address R&D needs related to COVID-19.
    • The European Commission published an open competition notice for startups and SMEs that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak. The deadline for applications to the EIC Accelerator was March, the 20th . With a budget of €164m, 36 companies were selected to combat the coronavirus pandemic by working on pioneering prejects. Furthermore, 139 companies that could not receive the funding have received the newly intraduce COVID-19 Seal of Excellence.
    • The Yes We Breathe project mobilized Tunisian researchers and innovative startups to fabricate a medical device that can serve for oxygenotherapy treatments. It was financed by the National Engeneering school of Sousse in close collaboration with the hospital ‘Farhat Hached’.
    • The Volkswagen Foundation supports research projects from all disciplines whose findings not only contribute directly to overcoming the crisis, but can also provide impetus for overcoming major societal challenges in the medium to long term. To this end, the Volkswagen Foundation supports research projects with a funding ceiling of €120,000 for a term up to 18 months for individual or cooperation projects involving up to 3 partners. In December 2020, 102 small grant applicatiosn were approved out of 1,107 applications.
    • BioASQ, an initiative by the National Centre for Scientific Research of Greece, organises international competitions (challenges) for systems of biomedical information retrieval and automatic answering of relevant scientific questions from databases. A challenge which will use the AI software tools of the BioASQ project to answer scientific questions on the coronavirus. The initiative is funded and supported by the European Commission, the National Library of Medicine as well as sponsored by Google.

    Modelling (epidemiology)

    • The Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), a collaborative research network launched by the National Institutes of Health in 2004 to establish U.S. modelling capabilities against infectious disease threats. It provides information and resources for COVID-19 modelling research. This includes pointers to national datasets, parameter estimates such as incubation period, reproduction number, fatality rates and many more. In 2021, the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) renewed funds to support modelling research and accepts applications until December 15, 2021. Grants will support projects in the area of incorporation of data related to SARS-CoV-2 into ongoing research on predictive computational models for the spread of the virus as well as vaccination outcomes and potential economic impacts.
    • MOBS Lab Analysis of the COVID-19 Epidemic allows modelling of the epidemic spread on the basis of mobility of persons, and enables testing of the influence of policies such as travel restrictions on the propagation of the disease.
    • What will we do in August provides epidemiological modelling using the resampling method to attempt at forecasting the evolution of the outbreak. Developed by a team of mathematicians and data analysts from Slovenia.
    • In 2020, the COVID-19 expansion simulator has offered the possibility to change parameters interactively and find out how they influence the dynamics of the epidemic. Developed by Prof. Janez Zibert, a mathematician teaching at the Faculty of Health Sciences in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    • Metabiota created a near-term forecasting model of disease spread, which incorporates the currently known characteristics of the virus. Metabiota collects and structures data from a wide variety of reporting sources to produce a dataset with the finest spatiotemporal resolution data. As of February 2020, Metabiota monitored incidence across 37 countries using 39 public data sources.
    • nCoV-2019 Data Working Group is a global and multi-organizational initiative that aims to enable rapid sharing of trusted and open public health data to advance the response to infectious diseases.
    • The Emerging Infectious Diseases Modelling initiative of Canada’s Public Health Agency and National Science and Engineering Research Council has the objective to enhance national capacity of infectious disease modelling that supports public health responses to EIDs in the future by building a national network for collaboration and knowledge mobilization. It Provides direct support to Canada’s COVID-19 response by producing modelling products that contribute to public health decisions via risk assessment, impact analyses and decision support such as intervention program design.

    AI-powered search engines

    • ElementAI for COVID-19 Platform connects clinical researchers, scientific researchers, public health authorities and frontline workers that are working towards finding a cure to mitigate this pandemic, to structured and unstructured datasets, including CORD-19, using natural language queries.
    • CORD-19 Search Engine (provided by Verizon Media) was prepared by the White House and a coalition of leading research groups. It comprises more than 500,000 scholarly articles about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and related coronaviruses. This dataset is freely available to the global research ommunity to apply natural language processing and other AI techniques to generate now insights on the fight agains the virus.
    • COVID Net - a convolutional neural network for detecting COVID-19 from Chest X-Rays is available here on Github.
    • IBM - COVID-19 Deep search – to help researchers access structured and unstructured data quickly, IBM Research has developed a cloud-based AI research service that has ingested a corpus of thousands of papers from the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) and licensed databases from DrugBank, Clinicaltrials.gov and GenBank. This tool uses advanced AI, allowing users to make specific queries to the collections of papers and extract critical COVID-19 knowledge – including embedded text, tables and figures. As of January 2021, the service counted 647 registered users and 158,524 ingested papers.
    • COVID-19 DOC Search Engine and Resource Page. Doctor Evidence is offering it advanced AI Search Platform, DOC Search®, to provide "up-to-the minute" access to the relevant literature, studies and news that precisely answer any specific Coronavirus related research question (i.e., viral rate, pathology, contagious attributes, effectiveness of social distancing, etc.). Its database currently contains about 35.6 million biomedical citations and 3.3 million medical concepts.
    • ASReview against COVID-19. The Active learning for Systematic Reviews software ASReview implements learning algorithms that interactively query the researcher during the title and abstract reading phase of a systematic search. This way of interactive training is known as active learning. ASReview offers support for classical learning algorithms and state-of-the-art learning algorithms like neural networks. As of April 2021, the service received 1,542 downloads per week.
    • Greece’s Research Centre Athena has developed a web based tool to ease the exploration of COVID-19-related literature, the so-called BIP Finder for COVID-19 as well as a dataset containing impact metrics and indicators for a set of publications that are related to the COVID-19 infectious disease and the coronavirus that causes it. It is based on the CORD-19 dataset. The Centre of Earth Observation Research and Satellite Remote Sensing of BEYOND of the National Observatory of Athens operates the Web GIS open platform illustrating the daily expansion of COVID-19 at the national and international level (http://webgiscovid19.beyond-eocenter.eu/).
    • Xprize Pandemic Alliance comprises a collection of exclusive datasets and AI capaibilities, that are freely accessible in order to enable the research community in developing solutions related to the COVID-19 emergency. The allliance’s impact in 2020 showed 289 solutions to COVID-19, 18 initiated projects and $ 62.5M in price purses and scaling impact funds.

    Genomics and clinical research

    • ELIXIR brings together primary data, models and other research resources on life sciences (including on COVID-19) across the EU and beyond. ELIXIR provides a range of services that can be used for studying the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease.
    • REACTing (REsearch and ACTion targeting emerging infectious diseases) is a multi-disciplinary collaborative network of French research institutions working on emerging infectious diseases, which aims to prepare and respond to epidemics. On 1 January, 2021 the consortium merged with ANRS to form a new research agency called ‘ANRS | Maladies infectieuses émergentes’
    • Galaxy Project - a collaboration platform for developing open analytical software and sharing computational workflows for genomic data analysis. This is a community effort in developing open analytical software tools for genomics and create an accessible platform for tackling global health emergencies.
    • Deepmind’s AlphaFold uses large genomic datasets to predict protein structure. Interested researchers can download the structures here, and can read more technical details about these predictions in a document included with the data. Available under open source here.
    • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), is a public-private initiative whose aim it is to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. It was founded by governments of Norway and India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the World Economic Forum[2]. It comprises 8 parallel individual collaborations for vaccine development, some collaborations with individual companies and some with academic institutes and some with both, as of March 19, 2020.
    • ATLAS is a free, publicly available web-based, open-source software application developed by the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) community to support the design and execution of observational analyses to generate real world evidence from patient level observational data. OHDSI is a multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary collaborative to bring out the value of health data through large-scale analytics. All the solutions are open-source. OHDSI has established an international network of researchers and observational health databases with a central coordinating centre housed at Columbia University.
    • The Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard teamed up to set up the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, set to play a catalytic role by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. An early breakthrough by the Accelerator was the finding that test swabs for COVID-19 could be self-implemented by patients, reducing the exposure of healthcare workers to the virus. As of October 26, 2020, the Accelerator has awarded over $98 million in grants.
    • (E4C) is a public-private consortium supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 tender for projects to counter the Coronavirus pandemic and improve the management and care of patients. At the core of E4C is Exscalate (EXaSCale smArt pLatform Against paThogEns), at present the most powerful and cost-efficient intelligent supercomputing platform in the world. Exscalate has a "chemical library" of more than 1 Trillion docked molecules and a processing capacity of more than 3 million molecules per second. The E4C consortium, coordinated by Dompé farmaceutici, is composed by 18 institutions form seven European countries.
    • The National Center for Biotechnology Information Virus Database (NCBI) is an integrative, value-added resource designed to support retrieval, display and analysis of a curated collection of virus sequences and large sequence datasets. It is a community portal for viral sequence data whose goal is to increase the usability of data archived in GenBank and other NCBI repositories. The mission is to enable researchers to find sequences and sequence data-sets of interest more easily via filtering of data along normalized metadata, and to use virus sequence data more effectively by creating custom data reports and exporting those reports in various formats for use outside of NCBI Virus.

    Crowdsourcing platforms

    • The Crowdhelix COVID-19 Community has launched a call for experts in virology, epidemiology, social sciences and humanities, behavioural science and data science, to help tackle the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and contribute towards the development of societal resilience to future such outbreaks. Crowdhelix, hosted by Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, has a track record of 11,268+ pioneering projects which have been awarded €6.47 billion in H2020 funding. It provides an open Innovation platform, and has already recruited 380 experts as of June 21, 2021.
    • Innocentive, an open innovation marketplace platform set up a dedicated page where third parties can post challenges relative to COVID-19. Challenges can be posted by public or private entities. Sample challenges include: Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation Systems (RMVS) – designs for easy-to-manufacture ventilation systems to face the shortage of these life-saving devices; (ii) diminishing the transmission of the virus (behaviors that are NOT widely communicated); (iii) providing useful solutions or services offered by individuals or companies in response to the global Coronavirus pandemic. As of June 2021, the platform counts over $ 40M in awards and 200,000 captured solutions.
    • Foldit is a University of Washington coronavirus puzzle game that aims to crowdsource a cure. Human pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving abilities make them more efficient than existing computer programs at pattern-folding tasks. Foldit counts on the contributions of 200,000 gamers to help scientists understand folding patterns of proteins.
    • The AI-ROBOTICS vs COVID-19 initiative of the European AI Alliance, launched by the European Commission, collects ideas on deployable AI and robotics solutions that could help COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis or treatment, as well and information on other initiatives on the role of technology and AI in helping in the current crisis. The initiative creates solutions and initiatives repositories that are accessible by citizens, stakeholders and policymakers and could be part of the common European response to COVID-19 outbreak.
    • COVID 19 Solution Challenge: COVID-19 policy response crowdsourcing in India. Entries are to be submitted as 3-minute videos, or 3-page documents. Launched 16 March, deadline 31 March. Prize 100,000 INR.
    • JOGL (Just One Giant Lab): Do-it-yourself test kit effort spearheaded by citizen scientists at SoundBio, a community lab in Seattle; recruiting people from around the world to join the project through a collaborative online platform. The initiative awards microgrants amounting to $3,000 and comprises 123 projects.
    • Cochrane crowd uses volunteers both from the medical profession, students or the general public to review clinical studies - e.g. to determine whether a trial is randomised or not. Training is provided for all tasks, and multiple assessments of each study provides for redundancy and quality control. Cochrane is a British international charity whose mission is to organise medical research findings to facilitate evidence-based choices.
    • #data4covid19 Living Repository serves as a repository for data collaboratives seeking to address the spread of COVID-19 and its secondary effects, including data collaborative projects, data competitions, challenges, and calls for proposals, as well as requests for data and expertise. It is part of a Call for action initiated by The GovLab, an action research center based at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, with the goal of promoting the design of more open, effective and networked governing institutions using data, technology and crowdsourcing.
    • CrowdVsCovid  is a team of citizens and scientists from research institutions in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, keen to provide policy makers with relevant and actionable information on a range of Covid-related issues, as quickly and reliably as possible. During the hackathon, a first full pipeline model, going from the raw data input to police advice output, was produced. Also, two demos have been recently created. The first one focuses on reviewing scientific articles and on the extraction of key information based on specific policy concerns. The second utilizes social media data from Twitter to gain useful insights, such as understanding which masks people wear in public spaces and people’s sentiments during the lockdown across the world.
    • Solidarite┬┤ Covid-19 Francophonie is an online platform created by the International Organization of La Francophonie which is open for everyone to exchange and propose solutions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to support collective creation processes and promote innovative solutions. In total, 184 projects across 75 countries have been launched with the scope of bringing benefits to hospitals, schools, and enterpises across the world community.
    • The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is a collaborative effort to research, develop and bring effective treatments to market quickly and accessibly. In total, more than $98 M (as of October, 2021) have been invested on treatments focused on therapeutics and diagnostics.
    • The Institut Pasteur has formed a Coronivrus TaskForce to coordinate projects and initiatives aimed at facilitating cooperation between researchers on COVID-19 related issues. The areas of cooperation include clinical and epidemiological investigation, the development of diagnostic tools, anti-viral research, immuno-vaccination and the exploration of animal reservoirs and species jumps

    Data resources

    Multidisciplinary platforms with epidemiological, clinical and research data

    • OpenAIRE foresees a dedicated discovery portal for COVID-19-relevant research outputs (data, publications and other). It includes the Zenodo community which provides research outputs that may be relevant to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) or the SARS-CoV-2. Researchers are encouraged to upload content which is subsequently curated by experts nominated by the OpenAIRE community. It also launched the scientific gateway mid May of 2020, which aggregates COVID-19 records (publications-data-software-other research outcomes), links them together and provides a single access point for their discovery and navigation.
    • Fogarty International Centre’s Coronavirus news and resources for global health researchers provides an overview of Coronavirus news, funding and resources for global health researchers, including links to WHO resources, mapping and modelling of COVID-19, latest research news, COVID-19 specific training for researchers, COVID-19 research projects and clinical trials, vaccine news, treatment news, scientific publications and news and resources for low- and middle-income countries.
    • COVID-19 Data Lake is an aggregator platform and links disparate COVID-19 data sets in a knowledge graph, providing a user-friendly single window for researchers to navigate and explore the data features that may be of interest (e.g., diagnosis, age, locale, preexisting condition, etc.) and perform sophisticated data science on those data.
    • Google Cloud is offering free datasets for researchers under the COVID-19 Public Dataset Program. Researchers can also use BigQuery ML to build advanced AI models for COVID-19 research. Community Mobility Reports, provides insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography across different categories. Google has since made training available to help users with navigating these datasets on Google Cloud.
    • The European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) COVID-19 Portal, a European data exchange platform for SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus-related information exchange, connected to the European Open Science Cloud. This allows quick sharing of research data from different streams (e.g. genomic data, clinical research data, epidemiological data, social science data and real world data). Researchers should be required to provide immediate and full open access and to share research outcomes (data, models, workflows, results) that are as FAIR as possible in real time, in order to accelerate discovery. The portal offers pages on: Sequences: raw and assembled sequences related to the COVID-19 outbreak; (ii) Gene expression; (iii) Proteins including latest SARS-CoV-2 protein entries and associated protein receptors; (iv) Structures: key SARS-CoV-2 protein structural features to support the development of treatments and vaccines; (v) Literature search powered by EuropePMC, an open science platform developed by EMBL-EBI.
    • I-MOVE-COVID-19 is a H2020 project which aims to obtain epidemiological, clinical and virological information about COVID-19 and patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, through the provision of a flexible surveillance platform (adaptable to the epidemiological situation), research studies, hypothesis-testing and evaluation of public health interventions (e.g. vaccination, antivirals) in order to contribute to the knowledge base, guide patient management, and inform the public health response. This will be achieved through adaptation and expansion of the existing, long-running, Europe-wide influenza surveillance network (I-MOVE) to include COVID-19. The network includes primary care networks, hospitals, national laboratory reference centres in ten countries. It received EU funds amounting to €2.8 million and the project lasts until June 15, 2022.
    • Dimensions COVID-19 resource, contains information about publications, data sets patents, grants and clinical trials. Data is only partially open access, some categories are behind a paywall. It comprises almost 500,000 publications and close to 17,000 datasets.
    • The Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication launched an open science directory which contains open access sources on COVID-19. This platform is maintained by the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology in collaboration with the UNESCO Brasília Office. It brings together scientific articles, theses and dissertations, research data, preprint bases, scientific information aggregators, and reports and evidence.
    • Artificial Intelligence and Data Science for early detection of potential epidemic and pandemic outbreaks post COVID-19: Implementation of a scalable strategy of electronic medical records, gender-inclusive and socially responsible in Argentina. Launched in October 2020, this work will be carried out by the Interdisciplinary Center for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as part of the COVID-19 Global South Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Program, funded by IDRC and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
    • The Dutch NWO program which connects funding of research projects, publications and data. Its objective is to enable other non-medical fields of research to benefit from the lessons learnt during the unfolding crisis. his concerns research that necessitates the collection of data or research for which real-time data gathering will strongly contribute to the quality of the ongoing research, adapted to the actual crisis. Data is expected to adhere to the FAIR principles.
    • Canada’s Safeguarding Your Research Portal recognises the risks associated with Open Science and provides a tool which urges researchers to safeguard their research against potential risks such as theft/loss of research data. It provides information on how to safeguard research and innovation as well as guidance as to the precautions and necessary steps to ensure security of research outputs.

    National sources (epidemiology)

    Data sharing starts with national sources which are regularly publishing data about the spread of the epidemic. Most governments in affected countries have at least once-daily press conferences about the latest developments, and data is openly available on official websites. An initial incomplete list:

    International repositories (epidemiology)

    International platforms aggregate information from national sources and allow monitoring of the epidemic spread, such as:

    • The World Health Organization (WHO) provides daily situation reports including new cases and totals.
    • UNStats COVID 19. This website provides a space for the global statistical community to share guidance, actions, tools and best practices to ensure the operational continuity of data programmes by National Statistical Offices, and to address issues of open and timely access to critical data needed by governments and all sectors of society to respond to the global COVID-19 crisis.
    • The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has data that is updated daily on COVID-19 cases worldwide. A downloadable data file is updated daily and contains the latest available public data on COVID-19. Public-use data files allows users to manipulate the data in a format appropriate for their analyses. Users of ECDC public-use data files must comply with data use restrictions to ensure that the information will be used solely for statistical analysis or reporting purposes.
    • The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map, which was first shared publicly on Jan 22, 2020, and has established itself as a reference with respect to aggregation of various data sources on the epidemic. to track COVID-19 in real time. All data collected and displayed are made freely available, initially through Google Sheets and now through a GitHub repository, along with the feature layers of the dashboard, which are now included in the Esri Living Atlas. Preliminary study results are discussed on an accompanying blog.
    • DXY-DX Doctor COVID-19 Global Pandemic Real-Time Report is a China-based global aggregation of COVID-19 epidemiology spread, FAQ and related news items, with the objective of debunking fake news
    • Ourworldindata provides comprehensive dashboards allowing cross-country comparison, accompanied by metadata, analysis and pedagogical explanations for the general public. It also provides data on country-by-country coronavirus testing along with country-by-country confirmed cases and deaths.
    • The Federation of American Scientists created COVID-19 Ask a Scientist, a site for people to ask their questions about COVID-19 to scientists. The account has since been terminated.
    • HealthMap, a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children's Hospital founded in 2006, utilizes online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats. The site and mobile app 'Outbreaks Near Me' deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases based on diverse data sources, including online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports.
    • Worldometer is run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world. Worldometer is owned by Dadax, an independent company. Worldometer's Covid-19 data is used by Johns Hopkins CSSE, Financial Times, The New York Times, Business Insider, and others.
    • The OECD AI Observatory set up an AI-powered COVID-19 watch. In partnership with the Jozef Stefan Institut in Slovenia, the OECD AI Policy Observatory co-developed: COVID-19 watch, an AI-powered tool that provides the latest coronavirus developments across countries in real time. It includes the following real time data: WHO report (data via World Health Organization); Live Media, Cases and Deaths across five dimensions, and a Social Distancing Simulator to interactively explore the effects of social distancing.
    • The Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) hub for geospatial COVID-19 data and resources. ESRI is an international supplier of geographic information system (GIS) software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. ESRI has created a hub for geospatial COVID-19 data and resources. It shows geographical distribution of COVID-19 cases, as well as vulnerable populations, and health system capacity on a local level.
    • The Corona Data Scraper pulls COVID-19 case data from verified sources, finds the corresponding geospatial features, and adds population data to help data analysts understand the virus.
    • DisasterAWARE provides COVID-19 global information for the disaster management community which includes government agencies and humanitarian assistance organizations.
    • The European Data Portal aims to support the public by providing a better understanding of the COVID-19 emergency to empower citizens to take action. It offers a catalogue of data platforms, mostly for epidemiology data
    • EpiPose is a H2020 project which aims to provide urgently needed answers about the epidemiological characteristics of 2019-nCoV, the social dynamics of the outbreak, and the related public health preparedness and response to the ongoing epidemic, as well as to assess its economic impact. The consortium consists of 6 partners in 5 countries (BE, NL, UK, CH, IT) who provide complementary expertise in mathematical and statistical modelling of infectious diseases, participatory surveillance systems, living systematic reviews, and health economic analysis and have a strong international public health network.
    • Avatorl, is a site with analysis of the disease spread which provides 38 pages of visualisation and analysis, updated daily. It is maintained by Andrzej Leszkiewicz, an individual data scientist.
    • CORONALIVE INFO offers global statistics including an animation showing the dynamics of the epidemic over time, as well as real time news items related to the outbreak. Created and maintained by an individual, Primoz Cigoj.
    • CoronaTracker is a community-based project powered by over 460 volunteers. It acts as a portal for the public to keep track of the latest news development about the COVID-19, alongside collecting data for further analysis. It also features travel alerts for individual countries worldwide.
    • The University of Washington – Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released the COVID-19 projections which consists in a publicly accessible worldwide dataset that is free of use. Users can compare indicators and consult an interactive worldwide map about the current state of the pandemic.

    Transport, mobility and trade data

    • Community Mobility Reports by Google provides insights into mobility patterns of the population in response to policy measures aimed at restricting movement and reducing virus circulation.
    • Apple has released a dataset about the mobility patterns in the world in response to the policy measures implemented to contrast the spread of the pandemic.
    • OpenSky has provided a COVID-19 Flight Dataset showing the impact of the global lockdown on worldwide air traffic.
    • The Big Data UN Global Working Group, in partnership with the International Commercial Aviation Organisation, the UN Statistics Division, the International Monetary Fund, UN Global Pulse, the World Trade Organisation, UNCTAD, the UK Office of National Statistics built a Dashboard of fast indicators for trade, travel and transport.
    • Cuebiq Data for Good – Cuebiq provides access to aggregated and privacy-safe mobility data for academic research and humanitarian initiatives. This first-party data is collected from anonymized users who have opted-in to provide access to their location data anonymously, through a GDPR-compliant framework. Cuebiq is an offline intelligence and measurement company helping brands understand the impact of their marketing efforts in the offline world.
    • Cuebiq COVID-19 Mobility Insights – Cuebiq provides free access to mobility and store visitation patterns during the COVID-19 crisis to help businesses as they look to adjust their strategies to meet this new and uncertain market. It provides a mobility index based on observed movement of phones, a 'shelter in place' analysis based on a survey of people declaring staying at home or moving in the neighborhood, as well as a social inequality analysis.
    • BlueDot is a software-as-a-service designed to track, locate and provide insights on the spread of infectious diseases. It uses big data, natural language processing, and machine learning to pull out data from hundreds of thousands of sources, including statements from official public health organizations, digital media, global airline ticketing data, livestock health reports and population demographics. It sends out alerts of unusual disease outbreaks that its AI has discovered and the risks they may pose to health care, government, business, and public health clients.

    Contact tracing mobile apps - #covtech

    Mobile applications are being developed for alerts and contact tracing related to the outbreak. A new name has been coined as “covtech” to designate such software.

    Early systems relied on Whatsapp to send general alerts:

    • The WHO released a health alert to send COVID-19 updates through WhatsApp.
    • Singapore is using a system to communicate with its citizens via WhatsApp on the outbreak since January. It works in 4 languages which are translated by AI. Two-way communication: updates about government action, contact tracing and geolocalisation at random times
    • India has launched a WhatsApp chatbot to create awareness about Coronavirus. Citizens can text a WhatsApp bot — called MyGov Corona Helpdesk — to get instant authoritative answers to their coronavirus queries, such as the symptoms of the viral disease, and how they could seek help.Other developments use contact tracing based on GPS geolocalisation and voluntary participation (usage remained relatively low for most):
    • Hamagen in an app that is endorsed by the Israeli Ministry of Health. It provides alerts if the user has been in the presence of anyone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The app cross-checks the GPS history the user’s mobile phone with historical geographic data of patients from the Ministry of Health.
    • Korea’s public authorities use a GPS-based tracking app to locate possible sources of COVID-19 infection for further investigation and warn citizens. Korea’s Central Disease Control Headquarters provide detailed maps of disease occurrence. An overall view provides the distribution in the country, but it is possible to zoom in on local communities and get information per anonymized patient, an example for Seoul province. Data is aggregated by http://coronamap.site/ and displays neighborhoods tagged by a colour code according to recent presence of infected patients. Additionally, all travelers to South Korea must install the Self-Diagnosis Mobile Application to record their daily health status on the app for 14 days after arrival in Korea. A text message is sent daily at 10 AM to remind people to enter their diagnostic information.
    • Private Kit: Safe Paths is an MIT-led, free, open-source and privacy-first contact-tracing technology that provides individual users with information on their interaction with diagnosed COVID-19 carriers, while also empowering governments’ efforts to contain an epidemic outbreak. Diagnosed patients provide their 28-day location trail to their health official. The trail is then blurred and used to notify users who came in close contact with a diagnosed patient. The application allows notifying users on crossing paths with published data of diagnosed Corona-19 patients. Using the web interface health officials redacts personally identifiable information from the location trail. Healthy's users data never leaves their phones.
    • The crowdsourced app Opendemic provides status alerts on nearby cases of COVID-19 and critical information on the virus. Relies on self-reported cases so information is incomplete and did not gain a large userbase.
    • China’s Health Code service was developed by the government and is run on Alipay and WeChat. It is based on a three-colour code: green indicates a ‘safe’ person, yellow indicates the holder should be in home isolation, and a red code says the user is a confirmed Covid-19 patient and should be in quarantine. The code can be required to access services such as banks, shops and even public transport. There are privacy concerns about the app, since personal details are asked of applicants, including passport details and recent travel history.
    • Outbreaks Near Me, a crowdsourcing platform developed by Healthmap and promoted by the Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. It records the location of people who reported symptoms and of those who took a COVID-19 test. The map location is also searchable by zip number.
    • The application ‘SaludEC’ was released by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health with the aim of tracking corona cases. The application stores the name, year of birth, ID number, and geolocated addresses of its users. Through this voluntary app, users can report their symptoms related to COVID-19. The app then provides the user with the online resources created by the government for the health emergency. The Government has authorized tracking mobile phones via GPS satellite to ensure that citizens do not break mandatory quarantine. Usage of the app remained relatively low.
    • The GeoHealth app determines the individual risk of infection using the location function. Based on the whereabouts within the last 14 days, it determines whether users have entered into contact with infected persons. A person who tests positive could use the app to “donate” his/her location history. The data is then anonymized and stored on a central server. The app is developed through the cooperation of Hannover Medical School and the company ‘Ubilabs’. Usage of the app remained relatively low.
    • The Indian Government launched ‘CoWin-20’ that tracks people infected by COVID-19 and inform users accordingly. The app is uses a combination of Bluetooth and location data and in 2021, will incorporate vaccine registration.
    • The Iranian government has released an app called ‘AC-10’. Once downloaded, the application asks users to verify their phone number after users are prompted to give the app permission to send precise location data to the government’s servers. The app also collects data on citizens, including names, addresses, dates of birth, and track people's location in real-time. The app asks a series of YES or NO questions about the symptoms users are experiencing. Once these are answered, users click “submit” to send your details to the government for assessment.
    • Jupl is a monitoring platform that can help locate people and provide alert notifications. It ensures that people returning to New Zealand are safe and inside their designated quarantine area.
    • In South Africa, the application COVI-ID has been released. Each user is assigned a QR code that can be scanned in places such as supermarkets and public transports. This gives them a so-called ‘geographical receipt’. Users are in control of their data as it is processed through a blockchain scheme instead of being stored on a central server. Users must agree to share their information details with the government authorities only if they are tested positive.
    • In Taiwan, quarantine is enforced with cellphone location-tracking. The system monitors phone signals to alert police and local officials if those in home quarantine move away from their address or turn off their phones.
    • Thailand has rolled out a mobile app – AoT - that anyone arriving at an airport must download to help monitor where they have been in the event that they test positive for the virus. In addition, Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission provides a SIM card to every foreigner and Thai who had traveled from countries that have been designated as "high risk" for COVID-19 infections. The sim card is used together with the AoT Airports application to help track the position of users for 14 days to verify that they remain in quarantine. The app tracks the phone's location position for 14 days and alerts authorities if it leaves the designated quarantine area. After 14 days, it will stop tracking and the system will delete the data immediately.
    • In Catalunya, Stop Covid19 Cat allows users to tracking the evolution of their symptoms and provides them personalized tips. The health care system monitors a case based on the data sent by the application and, if necessary, activates its primary health care services. Users can consent to share their geolocation data, which allows authorities to gather information on how the pandemic is spreading throughout the region.
    • The NCOVI mobile app has been introduced by the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications. Vietnamese citizens are required to enter their personal information details and update their daily health status. They can also provide information to the best of their knowledge about cases suspected of having the COVID-19 in their residential areas. Data collected through the app is intended to help the nation’s health sector to identify who needs medical assistance in the fastest and most effective manner. The app also serves as an official channel for competent authorities to disseminate the COVID-19 epidemic situation as well as health recommendations to citizens.
    • In Bulgaria, the Government has released the Virus Safe app. The application allows users to update their daily symptoms and track their health status. Conversely, it can inform them about the best practices connected to the pandemic. In addition, users can activate the location tracker in order to create a heatmap with potentially infected people.
    • Rakning C-19 has been recently released by the Icelandic Government. To download the application, users have to enter their follow and their location data, if they want to enable contact-tracing functions. The data is stored only on the phone itself and it is deleted after 14 days. If a user is diagnosed with COVID-19, the health authorities will send a request to share the data with them.
    • ZostanZdravy is the application released by the Slovak Government. It relies on a mixed system with Bluetooth and GPS location data which is shared with healthcare authorities. It is also used the monitor the quarantine of local and foreign citizens.
    • Home Quarantine is a Polish application that enables the confirmation of the location of a person subject to quarantine restrictions and the ability to conduct a basic health assessment. It also allows for immediate access to the necessary quarantine information, as well as the ability to contact the local social welfare institutions, which can assist in purchasing medicines or food supplies. Although initially voluntary in nature, it has become mandatory for all those under obligatory quarantine or epidemiological surveillance, as a tool to confirm compliance with quarantine obligations (e.g. whether the ban on leaving the quarantine location is observed).
    • Healthy Together is an application developed by the State of Utah. It enables users to log their symptoms daily to get access to personalized protocols of actions. It also allows to set contact-tracing on to help health care authorites in tracing the spread of the virus and alert those who need testing.More recently, apps have been proposed which do not store or transmit geolocalisation, therefore respecting privacy. In addition, they rely on Bluetooth pairing between smartphones, offering higher geographic precision than GPS (0.1 meter vs several meters for GPS).
    • Singapore is proposing Tracetogether, an open source app which allows contact tracing. It has been launched in Singapore and is being used by about 20% of the population. It works by exchanging short distance Bluetooth signals with other users of the app, giving officials a database to track potential COVID-19 carriers. The app estimates the distance between users, and the duration of such encounters. Records of these encounters are stored locally, in encrypted form, on each user’s phone for 21 days (covering the incubation period of the virus). Users’ identities are anonymized and that the app doesn’t track location, but proximity between users by using Bluetooth. The only information stored on government servers is provided by users confirmed to have COVID-19 who agree to share their logs.
    • COVID Alert, is Canada’s Bluetooth-based tracing app which protects privacy and does not have access to GPS location, names, phones’ contacts nor health information on surrounding people. The app was downloaded 6.5 Million times by May 30th, 2021.
    • Coronalert is an app launched in Belgium in September 2020 which combines: a mobile app for citizens; a web app for medical personnel; a back-end for data aggregation; and an AI system to train models. All these components work together to map potential infected clusters, hotspots and super spreading. Contact tracing can furthermore be done more efficiently. Privacy experts have been involved from the outset.
    • The Red Cross of Austria has launched the StoppCorona app, which has been downloaded 400,000 times by April 22, 2020, corresponding to 5% of the population. Concept similar to the Singapore Tracetogether app. Developers are upgrading the design and architecture following a review by privacy experts.
    • In the Czech Republic an open source application eRouška has been developed by a group of volunteer IT professionals and subsequently approved by the Czech Ministry of Healthcare. It has been installed by 140,000 people by April 20.
    • India’s leading app is Aarogya Setu (‘Health Bridge’), a COVID-19 tracking mobile application developed by the National Informatics Centre that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. It uses bluetooth technology to determine the risk of infection if one user has been near a Covid-19 infected person (within six feet of distance) by scanning through a database of known cases across India. Using location information it determines whether the user’s location belongs to the infected areas based on the data available. It is the world’s fastest growing mobile app, having been installed 50 million times in the first 13 days after launch on April 2, 2020.
    • In Norway, SmitteStopp (Infectious stop) app was developed by Simula Research Laboratory under the auspices of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. It collects a record of an individual’s path and the contacts close enough to be infected, over 30 days. In a survey, 60 percent of respondents responded that they had downloaded Infection Stops by April 20, 2020.
    • In Finland, Koronavilkku (Corona Blinker) was launched end of August,2020- a tracing app based on Bluetooth technology which does not reveal anyone’s identity to other users but helped trace unknown contacts that have remained long enough nearby a person who later tests positive for COVID-19. In a second phase, it was aimed to make it interoperable with other apps in Europe.
    • Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) makes it possible to interrupt new chains of SARS-CoV-2 transmission rapidly and effectively by informing potentially exposed people, while respecting privacy according to European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).. It is being promoted by a broad public-private consortium including Fraunhofer, Vodafone, as well as leading Swiss, German, and French academic institutions.
    • The ROBERT (ROBus and privacy-presERving proximity Tracing) protocol was published on the 18th of April, 2020. Developed by teams from Inria and Fraunhofer/AISEC, this protocol can be used to build mobile contact tracing applications. It has been designed to comply strictly with the European data protection framework and to be able to resist credible attacks. The ROBERT protocol is a joint contribution in the framework of the PEPP-PT initiative, which aims to enable the development of interoperable contact tracing solutions that comply with European data protection, privacy and security standards as part of a more comprehensive response to the pandemic.
    • DP-3T is being developed by a group of privacy-minded academics. Originally similar to the PEPP-PT concept, the group has split off and proposes a decentralised solution where information is being saved on the handset itself, and is not communicated to a central public authority.
    • StopCovid is the application supported by the French Government. It works on Bluetooth contact-tracing technology without relying on the collection of location data. Once a user is diagnosed with COVID-19, the health care officials will communicate a code to enter that will send an anonymous alert to users have been close in contact. Two million downloads were registered in the first two weeks since its launch on 2 June.
    • Apple and Google have announced a joint initiative to facilitate contact tracing using Bluetooth technology between Android and IOS phones. Both companies released APIs that enabled interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps are available for users to download via their respective app stores. As of May 2021, the apps showed limited success.
    • Oxford Big Data Institute has demonstrated that a tracing app could be efficient in stopping the epidemic.
    • The Department of Health of the Australian Federal Government has released the COVIDSafe app. It helps find close contacts of COVID-19 cases by alerting State and territory health officials. It consists in a decentralized system whereby each user’s application detects each other’s Bluetooth key by noting the data, time, distance and duration of the contact. The information is encrypted and the identifier is stored on the phone, which is deleted on a 21-day rolling cycle. When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 and provides permission, the encrypted contact information is uploaded to a highly secure information storage system. This helps State and territory health officials in track past contacts, reach out to exposed people and offer advice on the next steps. However, the app accounted for only 17 cases found as of April 2021.
    • In Italy, the application ‘Immuni’ will be rolled out on the whole national territory on the 15th of June. It relies on a decentralised system based on the Apple and Google join initiative. Each user is assigned a temporary and periodically changing ID that will be registered in each other’s users’ Bluetooth histories in case of close contact. Only when a user results positive to Covid-19, the health authorities will communicate a reverting code that will inform all the people who had a proximity history with that person. As of December 2020, the app was downloaded more than 10 million times.
    • The Corona-Warn-App helps trace the infection chains of SARS-coV-2 in Germany- The app is based on a decentralized approach that notifies users if they have been exposed to the risk of contagion. It has met widespread success since it has been downloaded by 11.4 million users in one week.
    • In Hungary, VírusRadar was launched on May 13th, 2020. The app uses Bluetooth technology to track unique, random application IDs within a proximity of 2 meters for more than 20 minutes in the previous 14 days. The system has been developed by Nextsense, based on the company's contact tracing technology. Usage of the app remained very low.
    • These apps have been raising many privacy issues. For a comparative study of the privacy implications of different systems see Contact Tracing Mobile Apps for COVID-19: Privacy Considerations and Related Trade-offs.

    Genomic, proteomic, metabolomics data for researchers:

    • The Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) is a repository for SARS-CoV-2’s genome data from laboratories world-wide. GISAID collects and curates genome sequences and related clinical and epidemiological data associated with the newly emerging coronavirus (hCoV-19) and makes the information rapidly available. It promotes the international sharing of influenza virus sequences, related clinical and epidemiological data associated with human viruses, and geographical as well as species-specific data associated with avian and other animal viruses, to help researchers understand how the viruses evolve, spread and potentially become pandemics.
    • Nextstrain displays sequences collated and curated by GIDAID as a genomic tree, starting from the initial sequence from Wuhan through successive mutations and their geographical spread.
    • The Genbank at the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the U.S. National Libraries of Medicine provides the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing Data and SARS-CoV-2 Transcriptomic Map RNA Sequencing Data Open Science Framework. It counts 690,761 nucleotide records and gathered data of almost 6,000 clinical trials.
    • IBM Functional Genomics Platform – In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, IBM processed all newly sequenced public SARS-CoV-2 genomes, yielding over 3 million sequences including genomes, genes, proteins, functional domains, and more. By describing the collective biological activity of a microbe, the development of health interventions can be accellerated. IBM is offering access to the IBM Functional Genomics Platform to support important research for identifying molecular targets to aid during this public health crisis.
    • Protein Data Bank COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 Resources. This resource is powered by the Protein Data Bank archive-information about the 3D shapes of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies that helps students and researchers understand all aspects of biomedicine and agriculture, from protein synthesis to health and disease. The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank (RCSB PDB, rcsb.org), the US data center for the global PDB archive, serves thousands of Data Depositors in the Americas and Oceania and makes 3D macromolecular structure data available at no charge and without usage restrictions to more than 1 million rcsb.org Users worldwide and 600 000 pdb101.rcsb.org education-focused Users around the globe.
    • Health data Research UK has defined priority datasets, and will make them available as linked datasets, updated daily for research, in the Innovation Gateway which comprises almost 650 datasets, 268 projects and 287 dataset requests as of June 2021.
    • The Korea Institute of Science and Technology launched the DataOn platform, which allows researchers to deposit and use research data related to COVID-19. Research data uploaded to the DataOn are disclosed to a global community after KISTI and VODAN (Virus Outbreak Data Network) developed institutional collaboration arrangements.
    • The Genomics Data Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences constructed the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource (2019nCoVR). It features comprehensive integration of genomic and proteomic sequences as well as their metadata information from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data, National Center for Biotechnology Information, China National GeneBank, National Microbiology Data Center and China National Center for Bioinformation (CNCB)/National Genomics Data Center (NGDC). It also incorporates a wide range of relevant information including scientific literatures, news, and popular articles for science dissemination, and provides visualization functionalities for genome variation analysis results based on all collected 2019-nCoV strains. Moreover, by linking seamlessly with related databases in CNCB/NGDC, 2019nCoVR offers virus data submission and sharing services for raw sequence reads and assembled sequences, and synchronized data release in international databases.
    • China’s Coronavirus National Science and Technology Resource Service System was jointly constructed by the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It publishes official information on science and technology resources as well as scientific data concerning novel Coronoavirus, including the collection of virus strain resources (National Pathogen Microbial Resource Bank), electron micrographs, detection methods, genomes, scientific literature, etc., according to its scientific research progress to provide supports for scientific study on 2019-nCoV and special information service of science and technology resources dealing with the current prevention and control of pneumonia caused by 2019-nCoV infection. The Institute of Microbiology is the operating organization of the Microbial Data Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It counts almost 1.2 million nucleotides, 2.2 million proteins and 1837 antibodies in its database.
    • covid19.ireceptor.org is a turnkey repository for curated public COVID-19 data on behalf of the Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire sequencing (AIRR-seq) community. It is set up by iReceptor, a leading global platform for data from the adaptive immune (antibody/B-cell or T-cell) receptor repertoire, based out of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The main goal of iReceptor is to connect a distributed network of AIRR-seq repositories (the AIRR Data Commons), allowing queries across multiple projects, labs, and institutions. Integrating these important AIRR-seq repositories will result in improvements to the design of vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and cancer immunotherapies. In May 2021, AIRR-seq released its first dataset on vaccine antibody and receptor sequences which researchers can compare with the compiled over 1 billion sequences of COVID-19 patients.
    • Viralzone Includes pre-release access to SARS-CoV-2 proteome data as well as cross-links to complementary resources. ViralZone is a Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics web-resource for all viral genus and families, providing general molecular and epidemiological information, along with virion and genome figures. Each virus or family page gives an easy access to UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot viral protein entries.
    • Cellosaurus is a knowledge resource on cell lines. It attempts to describe all cell lines used in biomedical research. The specific site provides information on the cell lines useful for the study of SARS-CoV-2. Cellosaurus is part of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Resource Portal.
    • COVID-19 UniProtKB provides the latest available pre-release UniProtKB protein sequencing data for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and other entries relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. The related Viralzone page includes pre-release access to SARS-CoV-2 proteome data as well as cross-links to complementary resources.
    • A Bioinformatics Resource Center for SARS CoV-2 is set up by the Virus Pathogen Resource (ViPR), funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U.S.). ViPR integrates data from external sources (GenBank, UniProt, Immune Epitope Database, Protein Data Bank, etc.), direct submissions, and internal curation and analysis pipelines, and provides a suite of bioinformatics analysis and visualization tools to expedite virology research.

    Pharmacology data

    • The International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) / British Pharmacological Society (BPS) Guide to PHARMACOLOGY is an expert-curated resource of ligand-activity-target relationships, the majority of which come from high-quality pharmacological and medicinal chemistry literature. It is intended as a “one-stop shop” portal to pharmacological information and its main aim is to provide a searchable database with quantitative information on drug targets and the prescription medicines and experimental drugs that act on them. Many emerging strategies against COVID-19 rely on repurposing existing drugs, and others are completely new, but all rely on existing scientific evidence of mechanistic approaches that are effective against either similar viral infections or the serious symptoms that are caused by COVID-19.
    • The Milken Institute has released the COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Tracker that contains an aggregation of publicly-available information from validated sources. It is divided into filterable and sortable tabs, with each tab dedicated to a different area of research: one offers the overarching outlook of all treatments and vaccines, one tracks treatments, one tracks vaccines, and so on. There is also a section where all of the data is collated and visualized via charts and graphs.
    • The World Health Organization has developed the R&D Blueprint to to accelerate diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus. The Blueprint aims to improve coordination between scientists and global health professionals, accelerate the research and development process, and develop new norms and standards to learn from and improve upon the global response. Building on the response to recent outbreaks of Ebola virus disease, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, the R&D Blueprint has facilitated a coordinated and accelerated response to COVID-19, including an unprecedented program to develop a vaccine, research into potential pharmaceutical treatments and strengthened channels for information sharing between countries. A report published in May 2021 concluded that R&D has allowed for quick and safe vaccine development, the identification of optimal protective equipment for health staff, evidence-based infection prevention and control measures, understanding of likely animal hosts and major clinical trials for potential therapeutics.

    Clinical data, including trials

    • The ISARIC Data Platform is an electronic data capture system and repository that standardises and secures global data on COVID-19. Ownership and control of all data entered on these systems is retained by those who enter them. All systems are free to use and supported by data management specialists. Data are entered to a web-based REDCap data management system, hosted by the University of Oxford on behalf of ISARIC.
    • Vivli is a platform that offers an easy way to request anonymized data from completed clinical trials across a wide range of stakeholders from academia, government, non-profits and foundations, biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
    • Clinicaltrials.gov has data about clinical trials related to COVID-19, expanded access programs for COVID-19 treatments as of September 2020
    • The World Health Organisation’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform offers a one-click download for all COVID-19 related clinical trials. The Republic of Korea provides access to an anonymized nationwide Covid-19 patient dataset that includes a five-year medical history of each individual. To protect patient privacy, the service runs researchers’ code and returns the results. The government of the Republic of Korea decided to share the world’s first de-identified COVID-19 nationwide patient data with domestic and international researchers. The data sets are collected and processed promptly, thanks to the Korean National Health Insurance System, covering the entire population across the nation.
    • Centre for Evidence-based Medicine COVID-19 Registered Trials – an analysis of 382 COVID-19 trials registered up to 8 March 2020.
    • Trial Insights, a digital reporting system that aggregates content from multiple public data sources, including ClinicalTrials.gov, has a dashboard for tracking COVID-19 clinical trials
    • The Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register provides a reviewed base of clinical trials based on searches of ClinicalTrials.gov, the WHO's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) and PubMed. Studies are tagged according to study design, study type, study aim and intervention assignment (randomised or not). Cochrane is a British international charity whose mission is to organise medical research findings to facilitate evidence-based choices. Cochrane relies on a network of 30,000 volunteer experts around the world to review health care interventions and diagnostic tests which are published on the Cochrane library. In the three months of April until June 2021, 15,762 new studies have been registered with Cochrane.
    • CORESMA ("COVID-19 Outbreak Response combining E-health, Serolomics, Modelling, Artificial Intelligence and Implementation Research") is a H2020 project led by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. It aims to close existing gaps between clinical, epidemiological and immunological information in order to better respond to the pandemic. European researchers from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, as well as partners from China, Côte d'Ivoire and Nepal are working together to achieve this goal. They intend to obtain real-time clinical data via the SORMAS app developed by the HZI together with national and international partners since 2014, which will allow data on disease outbreaks to be recorded locally and transmitted to health authorities. The focus here is on particularly endangered countries, including Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria. At the same time, investigations will be carried out in Germany and Nepal to determine whether infections with other human corona viruses lead to cross-immunity against the novel SARS-CoV-2. The data collected will help to better assess the transmission of the virus and to evaluate the effectiveness of measures against its spread.
    • COVID-19 Clinical Trials Tracker provided by TranspariMED, lists all COVID-19 clinical trials and observational studies that have been registered on a WHO primary clinical trial registry or on Clinicaltrials.gov. TranspariMED is an initiative that works to end evidence distortion in medicine by developing and promoting policy solutions to improve clinical trial transparency. It uses research-driven advocacy to develop and promote policy solutions to this ongoing public health crisis.
    • Cytel Inc. has launched an open-access global COVID-19 Clinical Trial Tracker to help facilitate greater collaboration between researchers, policymakers, clinicians, journalists, philanthropists, and other critical stakeholders who need to understand the complex dynamics of the global response to finding a solution to the COVID-19 outbreak. This will enable them to make more informed and pragmatic decisions on how to channel scarce resources. Clinicians and local government need to know what trials are taking place in their community to ensure that the right patients receive the right exploratory treatment, while philanthropists and Federal policymakers deserve a one-stop shop to determine which are the most promising early phase treatment results. More sources for clinical trials can be found here.
    • Carbon Health & Braid Health is compiling the COVID-19 Clinical Data Repository. It is an an effort to compile a repository of the clinical characteristics of patients who have taken a COVID-19 test. This aims to accelerate information sharing among frontline healthcare providers and facilitate studies on COVID-19 signs, symptoms, stages, and care plans.

    Patient records

    • COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Registry provides patient-experience and paediatric registries maintained by the Global Rheumatology Alliance. The vision is to curate and disseminate accurate and comprehensive knowledge to advance rheumatology care in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the mission to collect, analyse and disseminate information about COVID-19 and rheumatology to patients, physicians and other relevant groups to improve the care of patients with rheumatic disease. Over 15,000 total cases from global and European registries have been administered.
    • UK biobank opened access to data from 500,000 UK Biobank participants for purposes of COVID-19 research. The information includes COVID-19 test results, primary care data, any hospital treatments received, and outcomes (including deaths). Over 670 research groups have made use of the open data, publishing over 60 papers.
    • Philips is partnering with Erasmus Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Jeroen Bosch Hospital (‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands) and the Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), to set up an online portal that allows Dutch hospitals to share COVID-19 patient information with each another.
    • MedCo for COVID-19. Patient data sharing is essential, and so is preserving privacy. MedCo, is a software system that enables computation on patient data without moving it or decrypting it. Developed at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, it has been installed in three Swiss University hospitals.
    • The Republic of Korea provides secure access to an anonymized nationwide Covid-19 patient dataset that includes a five-year medical history of each individual. To protect patient privacy, the service runs researchers’ code and returns the results. The government of the Republic of Korea decided to share the world’s first de-identified COVID-19 nationwide patient data with domestic and international researchers. The data sets are collected and processed promptly, thanks to the Korean National Health Insurance System, covering the entire population across the nation.
    • The University of Montreal is developing the COVID-19 Image Data Collection. It is a public open dataset of chest X-ray and CT images of patients which are positive or suspected of COVID-19 or other viral and bacterial pneumonias (MERS, SARS, and ARDS). The Data is collected from public sources as well as through indirect collection from hospitals and physicians.
    • The Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany launched a policy initiative in November 2020 to strengthen European infrastructures for COVID-19 vaccine trials. The Establishment of a Europe-wide platform for vaccine trials centers and a centralized patient database in Germany seeks to cover all European centers of excellence for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine testing and to provide a new subject database for vaccine trials, where interested individuals can register via an electronic questionnaire.

    Treatment guidelines (Many of the applications around symptom-checking were developed during the beginning of the pandemic, i.e. before testing became widely available)

    • Japan New Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19) Medical Care Guide, First Edition
    • Mexico guidelines for COVID19 patient care, and the Infection prevention process for people with COVID-19
    • UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides rapid guidelines and evidence summaries.
    • Kahun’s COVID-19 knowledge graph created to Help Doctors with COVID-19 Diagnosis. Kahun is an Israeli-based startup focused on building a unique medical knowledge representation platform.
    • Covidom is a web application for home management of patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms of COVID-19. Patients using the app fill in brief, standardised daily questionnaires on their symptoms for 30 days. Their answers are analysed by algorithms, and when a problem is indicated, the system generates mild or top-priority alerts, which are managed by a single regional control centre. In case of an alert, the control centre can refer the patient to a consultation or hospitalisation, or else send mobile emergency services directly to a patient’s home. Covidom was launched in the Paris area on 9 March 2020, and 50,000 patients are already included in the system.
    • A German startup DOCYET created an application called Corona-Bot that helps to clarify symptoms typical of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The free chatbot ask questions about symptoms and other factors to determine the probability of coronavirus infection. Ultimately the patient receives a clear risk assessment and further advice, including a telemedicine consultation with a chosen doctor. It is updated daily, following the latest scientific publications and data provided by the government’s central scientific institution, the Robert Koch Institute, and the Federal Centre for Health Education.
    • SidekickHealth is working with the COVID-19 response team in Iceland to provide its digital therapeutics platform to people who have been diagnosed with the virus. The platform allows the remote triaging and managing of large numbers of people in isolation, who self-report on a panel of symptoms and measurements via a smartphone app multiple times a day. Patients are assessed via a call with a doctor, with symptoms monitored every 12 hours and next steps proposed when necessary. They receive targeted information and support such as prompts, videos and messages from their clinical teams.
    • The Peruvian government set up a website for citizens to check their symptoms, so that they can be directed towards sources of help. The interface asks for ID number, phone, email and home address.
    • AsistenciaCovid19 is an application developed by the ‘Comunidad de Madrid’ which consists in a questionnaire whereby users can check whether their are compatible with COVID-19. Based on this information, the ‘app’ provides recommendations on what to do in the next step and whom to contact. It also allows users to track how their symptoms evolve.
    • The C-19 COVID Symptom Tracker looks into the progression of medical conditions by asking people to self-report their symptoms. It is developed by a startup called Zoe in partnership with researchers at Kings College Hospital in London, Stanford University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital. It is a research app designed to bring together information that could be useful to medical professionals to better plan their responses. The data security is protected by the European Union's "General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR). It will only be used for health research and will not be used for commercial purposes.

    Scientific publications

    Scientific publications are widely shared in the crisis as open access.

    Preprint servers

    Researchers have been sharing new findings about the virus’ genomic profile through open source publications and preprint sites. Preprints are publications which are in process of peer review – therefore they are available very quickly, but are somewhat more prone to errors than peer-reviewed publications.

    • Medrxiv, - Internet site publishing unpublished, non-peer reviewed, manuscripts in the area of medicine, clinical research and related health sciences, at no charge to the reader. Manuscripts are published on this server while awaiting the peer review process which will make them fit for publication in scientific reviews. Manuscripts on Medrxiv should not be considered for clinical application, nor relied upon for news reporting as established information. In the pandemic context, it is a useful vehicle for diffusion of ideas which can stimulate researchers to advance scientific discovery in the battle against COVID-19.
    • BioRxiv - Internet site publishing unpublished, non-peer reviewed, manuscripts in the area of biological sciences, at no charge to the reader. Manuscripts hosted on Biorxiv undergo basic screening and are checked against plagiarism. However they are still awaiting the formal peer review process which will make them fit for publication in scientific reviews. Biology journals have updated their policies and publication of preprints is no longer considered 'prior publication' and does not preclude the manuscript from being formally published. In the pandemic context, it is a useful vehicle for diffusion of ideas which can stimulate researchers to advance scientific discovery in the battle against COVID-19.
    • Chinaxiv - Internet site publishing unpublished, non-peer reviewed, manuscripts of scientific papers, at no charge to the reader. Manuscripts are published on this server while awaiting the peer review process which will make them fit for publication in scientific reviews. Manuscripts on Chinaxiv should not be considered for clinical application, nor relied upon for news reporting as established information. In the pandemic context, it is a useful vehicle for diffusion of ideas which can stimulate researchers to advance scientific discovery in the battle against COVID-19.
    • EmeRI – It is the Open science initiative sponsored by the Brazilian Government is the preprint repository of Emerging Research Information. It aims to facilitate the dissemination of results in emerging scientific fields between journals and editors.

    Aggregator publication repositories

    • The COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) a free resource of over 52,000 scholarly articles, including over 280,000 full text entries including research about COVID-19 and other coronaviruses, set up by the Allen Institute for AI and partners. The dataset is being used for the Kaggle challenge (see subsection on prizes and challenges).
    • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Stephen B. Thacker Library COVID-19 Research Articles Downloadable Database. Most, but not all, entries are open access.
    • LitCovid is the U.S. National Libraries of Medicine’s curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. It provides central access to relevant articles in PubMed.
    • The WHO COVID-19 Database gathers the latest international multilingual scientific findings and knowledge on COVID-19, updated daily from searches of bibliographic databases, hand searching, and the addition of other expert-referred scientific articles.
    • Yale University’s Cushing/Whitney Medical Library provides free access to COVID-19 literature 
    • The Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Cochrane resources and news provides high-quality, relevant, and up-to-date synthesized research evidence to inform health decisions. Cochrane is a British international charity whose mission is to organise medical research findings to facilitate evidence-based choices. Cochrane relies on a network of 30,000 volunteer experts around the world to review health care interventions and diagnostic tests which are published on the Cochrane library.
    • COVID-19:A living systematic map of the evidence is provided under UK National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme Reviews Facility, a collaboration between the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre, University College London Institute of Education, University College London; Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York; and Public Health, Environments and Society, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The results are based on searches of EMBASE and Medline.
    • COVID-19 Open Patent Dataset – considering the urgency of the crisis and the need to develop improved practices and products for diagnosis, therapeutics, medical devices and tools for protection and treatment, vaccines and other interventions, The Lens is sharing all the draft collections and datasets created for this landscape immediately.
    • The Korean Institute for Science and Technology provides open access papers and pre-prints on COVID-19 at KOAR. Close to 30 million open access articles are provided as of June 2021.
    • The Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication launched in May 2020 a dedicated portal which consolidates all the scientific initiatives related to the COVID-19 emergency sponsored by the ministry and its research institutes.

    Scientific publishers

    • Elsevier's Novel Coronavirus Information Center provides curated information for the research and health community on SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus) and COVID-19 (the disease). Contains latest early-stage and peer-reviewed research on COVID-19 from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press. Nearly 20,000 related articles are free to access on ScienceDirect. These articles are also available to download with rights for full text and data mining, re-use and analyses for as long as needed.
    • Wiley’s Novel Coronavirus Online Library makes the relevant research articles, book chapters and entries in major references freely available, in support of the global efforts in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and further research.
    • Emerald Publishing. Free content related to Coronavirus and the management of epidemics.
    • Springer Nature has a dedicated page SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 - A new virus and associated respiratory disease. It proposes research articles in open access, as well as data accessible via an open access API. Springer Nature strongly urges authors to share underlying datasets as rapidly and widely as possible.
    • Cambridge University Press provides an open access Coronavirus Free Access Collection.
    • Oxford University Press provides open access to research it publishes on its own page, as well as at PubMedCentral and other public repositories.
    • The Royal Society, Taylor and Francis also provide microsites for Coronavirus-related research.

    Scientific journals

     

     

    [1] In silico is an expression meaning scientific experiments or research produced via computer modelling or computer simulation.

    [2] They are currently funded by 10 national governments, 3 philanthropic funds and the European Commission

    [3] Originally called the British Medical Journal, the official name is now The BMJ