WHO, Germany launch a global ‘pandemic and epidemic intelligence’ hub
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Germany are establishing a new global hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance and analytics innovation.
Based in Berlin and working with partners around the world, the hub is planned to lead innovations in data analytics across the largest network of global data to predict, prevent, detect prepare for and respond to pandemic and epidemic risks worldwide.
It is intended enable a new collaboration of countries and partners worldwide, driving innovations to increase availability and linkage of diverse data; develop tools and predictive models for risk analysis; and to monitor disease control measures, community acceptance and infodemics.
WHY IT MATTERS
The WHO Hub will support the work of public health experts and policymakers in all countries with insights so they can take rapid decisions to prevent and respond to future public health emergencies.
Working with partners globally, the hub aims to drive a scale-up in innovation for existing forecasting and early warning capacities in WHO and member states.
The hub will also accelerate global collaborations across public and private sector organisations, academia, and international partner networks to help co-create tools for managing and analysing data for early warning surveillance.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The WHO Hub is part of WHO’s Health Emergencies programme. Technical officer of the programme, Christine Czerniak, recently told Healthcare IT News how new COVID-19 variants are highlighting the need for genomic surveillance and sequencing across the globe and reinforce the importance of collaboration.
ON THE RECORD
Jens Spahn, German health minister, said: “We need to identify pandemic and epidemic risks as quickly as possible, wherever they occur in the world. For that aim, we need to strengthen the global early warning surveillance system with improved collection of health-related data and inter-disciplinary risk analysis.
“Germany has consistently been committed to support WHO’s work in preparing for and responding to health emergencies, and the WHO Hub is a concrete initiative that will make the world safer.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said: “One of the lessons of COVID-19 is that world needs a significant leap forward in data analysis to help leaders make informed public health decisions.
“This requires harnessing the potential of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, combining diverse data sources, and collaborating across multiple disciplines. Better data and better analytics will lead to better decisions.”
Dr Angela Merkel, German federal chancellor, said: "The current COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we can only fight pandemics and epidemics together. The new WHO Hub will be a global platform for pandemic prevention, bringing together various governmental, academic and private sector institutions. I am delighted that WHO chose Berlin as its location and invite partners from all around the world to contribute to the WHO hub."
Find out more about the European digital health strategy at the 'From Pandemic to Infodemic, the Role of Effective Digital Public Health' session at the HIMSS21 & Health 2.0 European Health Conference on 8 June, 2021.
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.