LabCorp, Ciox partner on COVID-19 patient database

The registry will hold HIPAA-compliant de-identified data sets that clinical researchers will use to better understand and characterize COVID-19 diagnoses and treatments.
By Nathan Eddy
12:38 PM

Life-sciences-technology specialist LabCorp and health-information-management company Ciox Health are teaming up to create a U.S.-based COVID-19 patient data registry that aims to help researchers accelerate diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies.

WHY IT MATTERS

The registry will hold HIPAA-compliant de-identified data sets that clinical researchers will use to better understand and characterize COVID-19 diagnoses and treatments, with an initial data set based on LabCorp's nearly 500,000 completed COVID-19 tests.

Ciox's Real Word Data division will access and curate those clinical data sets, which will scale over the coming weeks and months to eventually aggregate millions of data points.

Dr. Oren Cohen, chief medical officer of LabCorp's Covance drug development business and Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, will serve as co-investigator of the patient data registry, and the registry's lead investigator is LabCorp Diagnostics' chief scientific officer Marcia Eisenberg.

The two companies hope to tackle a multitude of other questions about the disease course of the virus, and have also formed a scientific advisory committee to guide the usage of the registry and support ongoing partnerships for research.

Among the central areas of focus for the research partnership are risk factors associated with the severity of disease and environmental factors that drive susceptibility to, or protection from, the virus.

THE LARGER TREND

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, hospitals' abilities to cope with an onrush of infected cases have been challenged in multiple ways. The use of various digital technologies to combat the pandemic could hold important lessons for the industry as a whole going forward.

The outbreak has also put a spotlight on population-health demands and on the importance of services like telehealth and remote patient-monitoring, while also highlighting the benefits and challenges of current electronic health record architectures.

Adaptive Biotechnologies and Microsoft recently announced a plan to leverage their existing partnership to map population-wide adaptive immune responses to diseases at scale in order to study COVID-19.

In March, the German Society of Infectious Diseases (DGI) initiated the establishment of a European case registry to collect clinical data of infected patients, but included multi-layered safety features that demand strict anonymity, so permitting patients who are no longer able to give their informed consent to be included in the registry.

ON THE RECORD

"Healthcare practitioners and researchers need dynamic and real-time insights about COVID-19 to address this healthcare crisis and develop better treatment options for patients," LabCorp's Chief Information and Technology Officer Lance Berberian, said in a statement. "Combining life sciences and data sciences, including artificial intelligence and natural language processing, is the next frontier in the battle against the virus.

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Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209