Province Develops New Health Data Platform To Help Defeat COVID-19
New platform will allow researchers to better detect, plan and respond to the epidemic
TORONTO – The Ontario government is taking action to better detect, plan for and respond to the COVID-19 epidemic. In consultation with the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the province is developing a new health data platform called Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR). The new platform will contain secure health data that will allow researchers to better support health system planning and responsiveness, including the immediate need to analyze the current COVID-19 epidemic.
“Better access to integrated data will improve modeling and research to determine how COVID-19 is evolving, ensuring that front-line staff are as prepared as possible in these unprecedented times,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Prime Minister and health Minister. “While access to data is important, we are taking all measures to ensure that patient privacy is always respected and Ontarians are aware of how anonymous information can be shared. “
Ontario will appoint a special advisor to PANTHR and form a roundtable to make data and policy recommendations to support and help overcome barriers during the development of this platform.
The information gathered in the secure platform will help break down long-standing barriers and allow researchers to help:
- Increased detection of COVID-19;
- Discover the risk factors for vulnerable populations;
- Predict when and where epidemics can occur;
- Evaluate the functioning of prevention and treatment measures; and
- Identify where to allocate equipment and other resources.
“Integrating data from across the province will allow us to take effective advantage of tools, such as artificial intelligence, to better understand this virus, its spread and the most effective ways to combat it,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy , President of the Treasury Board. “This key knowledge will mean that our world class health system partners will have secure access to better and more consistent demographics, improving health care decision making and helping our efforts to beat COVID-19 . The health and safety of Ontarians remains our singularity – another measure that will allow us to continue to fulfill this commitment. ”
Once launched, PANTHR will provide access to anonymized and integrated data on the administrative records of state-funded health services, including:
- Physician claims submitted to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP);
- Drug claims submitted to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program;
- Summaries of hospital leaves and emergency department visits; and
- Home care and long term care requests.
PANTHR will also contain clinical data from collections of special registries, such as the Critical Care Information System (CCIS), which reports on critical care capacity in the province, and clinical data extracted from clinical systems. information on public health, hospitals, laboratories and diagnostic imaging. Other supporting data can also be added as needed by researchers to achieve the COVID-19 objectives.
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