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June 12, 2020

COVID-19 Roundup: Country Rankings, County Trends, How You Can Help & More

Oliver Peckham

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the globe, big data and AI have emerged as crucial tools for everything from diagnosis and epidemiology to therapeutic and vaccine development. Here, we collect the latest news in how big data is fighting back against COVID-19.


Researchers use ontology tools in the fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 is producing a deluge of data that can be difficult to manage and effectively utilize. Researchers from the University of Buffalo’s Ontological Research (NCOR) are aiming to assist by leveraging data ontologies to integrate that data across disciplines. “It’s nearly impossible, unless you’re an expert in multiple separate disciplines, to join data deriving from multiple different sources,” said Barry Smith, director of NCOR. “Ontology was designed to address that problem by creating common controlled vocabularies for data descriptions that everyone can use.” To read more, click here.

The full tier ranking of 200 countries from the COVID-19 Safety Assessment.

Report uses 130 parameters to rank countries by COVID-19 safety

Deep Knowledge Group (a consortium of commercial and non-profit technology corporations) has applied 130 qualitative and quantitative parameters to rank 200 countries and regions by their relative COVID-19 safety. These parameters are grouped into six categories, including quarantine efficiency; monitoring and detection; regional resiliency; government efficiency of risk management; healthcare readiness; and emergency preparedness. To read more, click here.

The University of Tokyo joins the COVID-19 Data Exchange

The Data Co-creation Working Group at the University of Tokyo has joined the COVID-19 Data Exchange. The Data Exchange is a pro bono initiative launched by Dawex, a data exchange technology firm, and provides researchers and organizations working on COVID-19 research with a “free, intuitive, globally connected information system to share and exchange data.” To read more, click here.

IBM’s OpenPandemics tool lets you contribute to big data analysis of COVID-19

If you want to personally contribute to COVID-19 research, IBM’s OpenPandemics tool may be for you. IBM has partnered with medical research nonprofit Scripps Research to offer the tool through its World Community Grid, allowing anyone to donate their idle computing time on their computers – and even some smartphones – to crunching the mountains of COVID-19 data. To read more or sign up, click here.

MemSQL powers True Digital Group’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve

MemSQL, which offers operational analytics and cloud-native application tools, is providing analytics for a contact tracing app from True Digital Group, an arm of a major telecommunication company in Thailand. The web portal will help to prevent COVID-19’s spread in Thailand by using anonymized cell phone data from over 30 million mobile phones. To read more, click here.

Esri’s COVID-19 Trends for U.S. Counties tool. Light purple counties are emergent; medium purple counties are spreading; dark purple counties are in the epidemic stage; light green counties are controlled; and dark green counties are in the end stage.

Esri map shows how each county is trending in the pandemic

Geographic information system firm Esri has created a tool (called COVID-19 Trends for U.S. Counties) that categorizes each U.S. county based on which direction it is trending during the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible categories include emergent, spreading, epidemic, controlled, and end stage. To see where your county stands, click here.

Skyhook and OmniSci partner on mobility indexing for COVID-19

As many states and countries begin to open their doors, location intelligence firm Skyhook is looking to monitor the reopening process using OmniSci’s accelerated analytics platform. Skyhook’s 5.1 billion geolocated WiFi hotspots and 200 million cell towers will be analyzed by OmniSci’s analytics tools to enable better insights regarding how people are moving as the pandemic progresses. To read more, click here.


Do you know about big data applications for COVID-19 that should be featured on this list? If so, send us an email at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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