CHICAGO, Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, P33, Open Commons Consortium (OCC) and MATTER announced the launch of the Chicagoland COVID-19 Data Commons (CCC), a centralized data platform created in partnership with regional healthcare providers, to help clinicians, researchers and community advocates understand how the disease behaves within the Chicagoland population.

P33 – a private-sector led initiative promoting inclusive tech growth in Chicagoland, the OCC – a builder of data commons and data-sharing ecosystems, and MATTER – healthcare startup incubator, partnered to create the Chicagoland COVID-19 Data Commons to understand the pandemic, measure Chicagoland’s regional response and build a helpful decision-making tool for local government.

“P33’s mission is connecting all facets of the Chicago tech ecosystem to drive meaningful change in our communities. We are proud to be working in partnership with MATTER and Open Commons Consortium to help our communities better understand and navigate this crisis,” said Brad Henderson, CEO of P33.

COVID-19 has already had a devastating impact on our communities. In Chicago, there have been almost 60,000+ cases of COVID-19 identified residents and almost 140,000+ in Illinois. The impact has been particularly hard on black and Latinx communities. NPR reported more than 70% of the city’s first coronavirus deaths were among the black population. The OCC is collecting data from multiple medical institutions (in legally compliant ways) and combining it with public health and other biomedical data to create a resource for the research community to make discoveries.

“Black and Latinx communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID, as have their healthcare systems,” said Dr. Suzet McKinney, CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District, and member of the CCC launch committee. “Accurate and inclusive representation enables researchers to determine actionable insights and advocate for necessary resources.”

The OCC, MATTER and P33 are engaging hospitals and nonprofits in Chicagoland that are serving patients impacted by the disparities of COVID to include their clinical data in the CCC, ensuring accurate representation of the data across all zip codes in Chicago. Participating health systems and hospitals include Rush University Hospital, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Chicago, St Anthony Hospital, Sinai Health System, Medical Home Network, NorthShore University Health Systems, Community Health, and Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

“COVID-19 has illustrated the gaps in our ability to collect and report data on the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens in our communities,” said Bala Hota Vice President, Chief Analytics Officer at Rush. “We have an opportunity to build the systems now to make sure we are prepared for the future, and we view the CCC as a key part of that effort.”

“Data commons bring together data, tools for analysis, and computing infrastructure in a safe, secure and compliant way so that challenging problems can be tackled by collaborative teams and progress can be made in weeks instead of months or years,” said Robert L. Grossman, the Director of the Center for Translational Data Science at the University of Chicago. “Data commons provide an ideal platform for sharing COVID-19 related data to accelerate our understanding of the disease, how it is transmitted, and how we can return to work faster and safer.”

In addition to clinical and scientific data, the CCC is asking Chicagoland residents to use the COVIDstoplight web app to contribute basic data about their location and how they are feeling anonymously via a web browser or mobile phone.  The data they contribute is aggregated so that no identifying information is collected and adheres to the strictest levels of privacy. The combination of this data will help decision makers measure and model outbreaks to make strategic decisions.

“Large-scale data is needed to better understand COVID-19,” said Steven Collins, CEO of MATTER. “The Chicagoland COVID-19 Data Commons will help innovators identify technologies, processes and solutions that can help address the near- and long-term challenges.”

Decisions are made about the CCC via a consortium, which consists of members who participate in distinct working groups focused on projects related to an area of expertise. The CCC’s launch committee includes Stephanie Willding, CEO of Community Health; Suzet McKinney CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District; Bala Hota Vice President, Chief Analytics Officer at Rush; Robert L. Grossman, the Director of the Center for Translational Data Science at the University of Chicago; and Matthew Trunnell, Executive Director of the Pandemic Response Commons Consortium, among others. Funding has been secured from The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and other anonymous local foundations that support medical research. Amazon Web Services has provided support so that CCC was operational in record time.

The CCC is open source, standards based, uses open APIs, and the data that it contains is available without restriction (open data1), except for those restrictions required to protect data derived from human subjects, or the privacy restrictions required by consumer apps that collect the data.

While the COVID pandemic may be a once-in-a-lifetime event, the CCC can help local decision-makers understand if there will be further outbreaks and what to do about them. Previously, the Open Commons Consortium has built several data commons, including data commons for environmental and biomedical data. Thus, they were able to leverage this existing ecosystem infrastructure to speed up innovation around the use of COVID-19 datasets and provide the ability to research other solutions to mitigate future outbreaks.

For more information, visit: https://pandemicresponsecommons.org/

About P33
P33 is a privately funded non-profit focused on driving inclusive, global tech and innovation leadership for Chicagoland. P33’s work is anchored in deep research and driven by a need to unlock the potential of the digital age to solve some of the toughest problems facing Chicago, such as equitable access to digital careers, talent retention, deep science commercialization and gaps in our growth stage startup ecosystem. Officially launched in 2019, P33 is co-chaired by Penny Pritzker, former Secretary of Commerce and founder and chairman of PSP Partners; Chris Gladwin, CEO and Co-founder of Ocient and Cleversafe; and Kelly Welsh, President of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago.

About Open Commons Consortium
The Open Commons Consortium (OCC) is not for profit organization that develops, manages, and operates data commons and data ecosystems to tackle challenging problems in biology, medicine, healthcare and the environment.  The OCC has been developing innovative software platforms for analyzing and sharing data with privacy, security and compliance since 2008.  The consortium is based in Chicago, Illinois, and is managed by the 501(c)3 Center for Computational Science Research Inc.

About MATTER
MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, includes hundreds of cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry0leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together, the MATTER community is accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.

1 It is important to note that term open data here means that the data is available via open APIs and without fees.  As mentioned above, open data may be open access and available to anyone or controlled access and only available to those who have signed the necessary data use agreements and have systems that have the necessary security and compliance policies, procedures and controls.  It is important to emphasize that all controlled access data will be made available only to those that have signed the required data use agreements and are authorized to work with it. 


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