COVID-19 national response portal puts essential data within reach

Powered by Google Cloud, the new portal combines information from public and private sectors as well as hospitals to provide a single place for critical health data and analytics.

How Google Cloud is helping companies scale up quickly due to COVID-19

A new database of COVID-19 data has launched with the goal of being a hub for medical professionals, policy makers, and others who need critical data to make important decisions.

Called the National Response Portal (NRP), the project is a collaborative effort by many organizations, including cloud technology firm SADA, Google Cloud, and HCA Healthcare. The firms involved in building the National Response Portal have been joined by a multitude of health care agencies, who are providing the data the portal is built on.

SEE: Big data's role in COVID-19 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

"Our first goal is to arm healthcare administrators and government officials with data-driven insights to navigate the road ahead. The NRP will provide decision-makers with rich and timely data to understand how policy changes and social behaviors impact efforts to end the crisis," said Michael Ames, senior director of healthcare and life sciences at SADA.

The portal itself provides detailed information that can be filtered in a variety of ways, and is updated once daily by reporting agencies. Users can drill down to the county level and see statistics on how social distancing has affected the spread of COVID-19, social mobility trends, and diagnosis trends. 

The data used in the portal is relatively new, and as more is added and models are improved the portal will be adding "nuanced situational metrics and refined forecasts for diagnoses and resource utilization." 

SEE: COVID-19: A guide and checklist for restarting your business (TechRepublic Premium)

Data added for analysis will include ICU bed occupancy, ventilator supply vs. utilization, COVID-19 test results, and numbers of patients who have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

The portal's mission is based around three goals: 

  • Create the most complete dataset of COVID-19 information available and use data. analytics to improve forecasting and give health care providers and policy makers insight into what's coming.
  • Use data to answer questions at the intersection of health outcomes, social behavior, and public policy.
  • Provide critical information to the public, like where to find testing, essential services, and medical care (all of these can be filtered for in the portal's map).

Google Cloud forms the backbone of the portal, and tools such as Looker, BigQuery, and Kubernetes were used in its construction. The COVID-19 pandemic won't be the end of the National Response Portal, either: It sees the novel coronavirus pandemic as just its first challenge, and vows to continue to be of use in the post-pandemic world. 
 
"When the crisis has passed, the NRP will continue to operate, serving as a hub for the integration of data and insights to continue to help the nation persevere through emerging crises of all kinds."

"The National Response Portal represents an important resource to help U.S. healthcare organizations, governments and the public understand and respond to the impact of COVID-19," said Philip Moyer, VP of industry sales at Google Cloud.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a chance to test the value of big data and AI-driven analytics to deliver actionable data in a wide-spread crisis. Sites like the National Response Portal are a critical part of proving that data analytics can be used for more than just charting the course of a company.

Also see

screen-shot-2020-05-29-at-11-04-26-am.png

Image: NRP