Developing a Data Integrated COVID-19 Tracking System for Decision-Making and Public Use

12:00noon to 1:00pm MST (11:00am to 12:00noon PST) | All sessions will be delivered live and online via the Gotowebinar system.

This webinar is part of the Power of Population Data Science Series

The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) at the University of Calgary quickly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, by prioritizing and accelerating research to develop countermeasures needed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. CSM turned to the experts at the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) to spearhead the development of a surveillance tool. CHI was well suited for this role as our experts (data scientists, academics, clinicians, statisticians, epidemiologists, and visualization specialists) teamed up and developed an interactive and comprehensible dashboard. The tracker was created as a way to ensure all Albertans and Canadians could stay informed on the current COVID-19 situation, with the best data that is available.

To develop the graphics on our site, we used publicly available data from several sources which we note on each figure. Most of the data used to create the Canadian graphics are from the Canada Open Data Working Group, which is updated every working day. Our website was created and hosted online, with a backend server, which is updated on a daily basis. The Tracker development has followed an iterative process, as new figures are added to meet the changing needs of policy-makers. Like other surveillance platforms, we are using the best data that we have access to, and are continually striving to provide the best data available and required for the moment.

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Tyler Williamson Dr. Tyler Williamson is an Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences and the Associate Director of the Centre for Health Informatics at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Under Dr. Williamson’s leadership, the team at the Centre for Health Informatics built Alberta’s first COVID-19 dashboard which helped inform provincial and local policy makers on their COVID-19 response. Dr. Williamson was the co-lead of the CanCOVID modelling theme, has written about strategies for dealing with the pandemic, and started a company, Pandemic Solutions, that helps organizations limit their COVID-19 risk.

Alexander KrusinaAlexander Krusina is a Data Scientist at the Centre for Health Informatics, with a background in Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering. Alex’s current focus is in creating interactive visualizations of data for the Centre. Alex was heavily involved in the initial development and deployment of the Centre for Health Informatics’ COVID Tracker and has been updating the Tracker to provide the most relevant information. Previous projects include a recommender system using association rule mining and reinforcement learning, a text annotation software tool to create training data for natural language processing, and rule-based detection of sections, sentences, and entities within discharge summaries.

Danielle SouthernDanielle Southern Danielle Southern is a Senior Analyst with the Centre for Health Information, with a background in Applied Mathematics and Biostatistics. Danielle’s focus is on “methods” in health research. She brings expertise regarding database management & analysis, and her publications have focused on the methodology for collection and analyzing data. In her role as Associate Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre at the University of Calgary, she manages the many projects related to classification, terminologies and standards of the WHO family of classifications.


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