The i2b2 tranSMART Foundation receives grant to advance research on the COVID-19 virus

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Foundation announces grant to fund key initiatives to support COVID-19 global research programs

Our long-term goal is to collaborate with the i2b2 tranSMART Foundation across its open source communities . . . to have a measurable and enduring impact on the acceleration of medical science and healthcare technology innovation

The i2b2 tranSMART Foundation, a global non-profit open-source foundation advancing the development of clinical and translational research through effective collaboration, has been awarded a grant to support the initial deployment of three key initiatives to advance COVID-19 research.

Professor Isaac Kohane, Chairman of the Department of BioMedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School and Chairman of the i2b2 tranSMART Foundation Board of Directors, said, “This significant grant marks a milestone for the Foundation as it joins the global community in offering significant new tools for the research community in their quest to find methods to treat patients and prevent future infections of the COVID-19 virus.”

The global COVID-19 research initiatives are focused on providing the following capabilities:

  • tranSMART for Genomics Data and Analysis - within the next month, a public version of the tranSMART Platform v19 will be made available with existing public datasets of COVID-19, SARS and MERS genomics data. Research groups around the world will be invited to add their datasets. This project is a collaboration with Axiomedix. In making this data accessible across the global research community, researchers can directly examine previous studies and adjust and improve their planned studies and more quickly complete and evaluate their new findings. This genomic data and analysis will help to speed the path to further understand the virus, identifying better diagnoses and treatment and ultimately lead to more effective vaccines.
  • Searchable online profiles of researchers around the world studying COVID-19 - Since January, more than 6,000 journal articles from nearly 25,000 authors have been published about COVID-19. The Foundation will quickly deploy a website that contains searchable online profiles of every researcher worldwide and visualizations showing how they are connected using “Profiles,” an open source program that creates a rapid research-ready portal. Researchers across the world can identify scientists conducting similar and complementary work and to potentially share results for more efficient and faster time to impact.
  • Harnessing the combined power of i2b2 and tranSMART query and analysis of clinical and genomics data - The organizations will work to improve the interoperability of i2b2 and tranSMART and streamline the installation process to help institutions join a growing community of sites that are leveraging their EHR and genomic data for COVID-19 research. This project, when completed, will offer the full power of i2b2 and tranSMART to be used by research groups to provide a significantly expanded suite of tools and analyses. This is the first step in realizing the vision that led to the merger of the i2b2 and tranSMART Foundation in 2017.

The funding for these projects was donated by Dell Technologies, in line with the company’s focus on supporting those working to treat and contain COVID-19 around the world.

“These projects will each have a significant impact for the research teams who are working on COVID-19,” said Diane Keogh, Executive Director of the i2b2 tranSMART Foundation. “We have been planning these projects but have not had sufficient funding to date. We can now deliver the first phases of all three within this year and integrated together they will not only help ongoing COVID-19 research projects but will help the research community in the future.”

David Dimond, Healthcare-Life Sciences Chief Innovation Officer, Dell Technologies, said, “We are pleased to be able to support the acceleration of clinical and translational research across the globe to address the immediate challenges of COVID-19, while laying the groundwork to tackle future pandemics. Our long-term goal is to collaborate with the i2b2 tranSMART Foundation across its open source communities who are sharing clinical, genomic, complex waveform and medical imaging data to have a measurable and enduring impact on the acceleration of medical science and healthcare technology innovation.”

For more information about these projects and their availability, please see the i2b2 tranSMART website at http://www.i2b2transmart.org.

About The i2b2 tranSMART Foundation - The i2b2 tranSMART Foundation is a global non-profit open-source organization focused on realizing the promise of precision medicine. It provides open-source software and databases representing more than 250 million patient lives to thousands of physicians and scientists worldwide. Its data and analytics platforms help academic, non-profit, healthcare, government and commercial research communities effectively conduct collaborative research. The Foundation is headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts. The i2b2 tranSMART Foundation can also be found on the web at i2b2 tranSMART Foundation Website.

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