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OpenCovid19 Initiative

Data analysis and simulation

Research and develop data collection methods, data analyses, models and simulations to describe and forecast the Covid-19 pandemics.

Description of the challenge 

The Data Challenge seeks to develop data collection methods, data analysis pipelines, models and simulations to describe and forecast the Covid-19 pandemics. This encompasses the use of public datasets such as Twitter to monitor symptoms or fake news propagation, the crowdsourcing of qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. questionnaires, wearable data, sound recordings) in a privacy-preserving manner, epidemiologic modeling of the progression of the pandemic, assessment of the impact of local policies, analyses of contact tracing and social distancing data, biological modeling, or visualisation dashboards.

Crowdsourcing data collections

Some of the OpenCovid19 projects will be interested in crowdsourcing the collection of personal data to answer research questions or provide services. Examples of this include the CoughCheck App (which aims to train machine learning algorithms to predict infections based on cough audio recordings) and Quantified Flu (which aims to correlate symptom onsets and physiological data from wearable sensors). 

If your OpenCovid19 project aims to crowdsource the collection of personal data from participants as well, you should check out Open Humans, a platform that 

  • Offers GDPR-compliant private & secure storage for personal data
  • Offers Ways to anonymously register participants and collect data through OAuth2 workflows 
  • Allows anonymously communicating with your participants
  • Handles the consent process for your participants

These features make it easy to get started and takes care of many of the problems around handling personal data. Both CoughCheck App and Quantified Flu make use of this technology. If you have any questions regarding the processes or how to implement the APIs, join the Open Humans Slack.

Here is a quick workflow on how to use Open Humans:

  1. Sign up on Open Humans and create your own project on Open Humans
  2. Most likely you will want to create a OAuth2 project, this is what you want to use if you want fully automated depositing & access to data and want Open Humans to handle your user accounts. If you're developing an app or a website, this is the tool for you.
  3. There are also on-site projects, which do not allow for full programmatic access to the data depositing/access. If you just want people to fill out a one-off survey, this might be right for you
  4. Implement the Open Humans APIs into your project. The documentation describes how Open Humans can act as a login-provider for your app through the OAuth2 flow, how to deposit/access data and how to message them.
  5. All API calls work right away for beta-testing and getting started. During the testing you will have a user-cap of 40 participants.
  6. If you want to lift the user-cap, submit your Open Humans project for review by submitting a post on the Open Humans forums. See more details on the process in the documentation.
Data analysis
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