CNN News: NIH launches national database to collect medical information from Covid-19 patients

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

The National Institutes of Health has launched a national database to collect medical information on coronavirus patients in the United States.

“This effort aims to transform clinical information into knowledge urgently needed to study COVID-19, including health risk factors that indicate better or worse outcomes of the disease, and identify potentially effective treatments,” the agency said in a statement Monday.

The NIH said the platform data will include clinical, laboratory and diagnostic information from hospitals, labs and other health care providers

The database will help researchers and health care providers answer critical questions relating to Covid-19 illness — for example who might need kidney dialysis, who may need a ventilator or what kinds of therapies a particular patient may need.

“By leveraging our collective data resources, unparalleled analytics expertise, and medical insights from expert clinicians, we can catalyze discoveries that address this pandemic that none of us could enable alone,” said Melissa Haendel, the director of the National Center for Data to Health (CD2H) at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine.

The NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which is paying for the new database, said it should help address future pandemics, too.

The agency said that the only identifying data on the platform will include the zip code of the health care group providing the information and the dates of service. No other personal patient information will appear on the site. Only approved users will be able to access the site and they can only study the information while on the platform and only for Covid-19 research and public health surveillance, the NIH said.

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