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[OHDSI COVID-19 response] Community Update 20 March 2020


Our community-wide efforts to aid the global response to the COVID19 pandemic continue, as do the preparations for our virtual study-a-thon, which is now only six days away. Here are some of the latest developments.

We are thrilled to announce that more than 160 people from 26 different countries (so far!) have registered to take part in our four-day event next week. In true OHDSI fashion, this community of volunteers covers a broad range of backgrounds and specialties, but it has come together for a single goal — to generate real-world evidence in the fight against COVID19. To all who have registered, we thank you; to those who are interested, there is still time; use this link to register and #JoinTheJourney!

Per the study-a-thon itself, there has been significant time spent on both the literature review and logistics over the last two days.

Literature Review

There have been specific forum threads designed for each literature review group, which are listed below, along with the group leads. Huge thanks to all who volunteered to serve as group leads (I wanted to tag everybody, but apparently I am limited to the # of people I can tag in one post … you can find them in each thread though). They have begun the process of reading and summarizing all literature that can inform study designs. Our goal is to complete the literature review by Wednesday, March 25, so we have access to all information during the study-a-thon.

COVID19 Characterization

Phenotype Definitions and Evaluations

COVID19 Treatment Safety and Efficacy

Viral Prediction Models

Existing Treatment Experiments

Everybody who volunteered to assist in literature review should have been placed on one of these teams. For those who also want to share in this effort, please reach out to one of the group leads. Thank you for the work you are doing to prepare us for our study-a-thon!


The virtual core team is working hard to plan the logistics while also continuing critical work to prepare network studies on COVID19. The study-a-thon is currently scheduled to begin the morning of Thursday, March 26, and will run through the evening of Sunday, March 29. The logistics to create the most effective work environment for a community that spans six continents are still being developed.

There is obvious curiosity about the questions OHDSI will attempt to answer over the four days. The virtual committee continues to go through all the questions coming through this forum thread and is working to prioritize studies based on guidance received from national governments, public health agencies, and health-related institutions. The literature review will also provide guidance in determining studies in the areas of characterization, population-level estimation and patient-level prediction. One example of a prioritized study is this characterization study on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) led by @EdBurn.

There will be studies that will be executed and completed by Sunday evening, with the results disseminated on data.ohdsi.org, and others that will be determined, developed and running code by the end of the weekend. Both are excellent outcomes; the COVID19 pandemic will still be happening Monday morning, and our community work will go on past the conclusion of our study-a-thon. However, we are excited to see just how much evidence our international collaboration can produce in four days.


One critical piece of the journey towards real-world evidence is data, and OHDSI would like to thank all data partners involved next weekend. Those partners that provide historical data will allow us to answer questions that could impact decision-making and patient care. Other partners that are able to update data will allow us to study the latest COVID19 data, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to assist in those studies.

Thanks to @GregK for leading the COVID-19 OHDSI/OMOP response team that can help institutions and organizations with converting their data into OMOP CDM format, and to @krfeeney for providing support for assisting data partners running analyses. Our vocabulary team is very close to releasing its latest update with new concepts for diagnosis and testing associated with COVID19. It recently received updated Chinese data to the vocabulary, which delayed the release for a day or two, but it should be available soon. Thank you to @Christian_Reich, @Alexdavv, @Dymshyts and anybody else involved in this effort.

Of course, we are always looking for more data. If you have access to patient-level data that is formatted in OMOP CDM format, and would be willing to execute OHDSI network analyses against your data and share back aggregate summary results to the global effort, please post your willingness to participate as a data partner in this form.

Once again, thank you to everybody who has volunteered their time and talents in this community effort. We are excited to come together and do what OHDSI does best — collaborate in the generation of real-world evidence that promotes better health decisions and better care at a time when it matters most.


Wanted to follow up with a shout-out to all those literature review leads. Thank you for your leadership in this critical step on the journey!

COVID19 Characterization - @MDGeist and @Denys_Kaduk

Phenotype Definitions and Evaluations - @mattspotnitz, @rchen and @Gowtham_Rao

COVID19 Treatment Safety and Efficacy - @Daniel_Prieto and @nigehughes

Viral Prediction Models - @cynthiayang and @RossW

Existing Treatment Experiments - @szarfman and @jon_duke

(Thanks @lee_evans for letting me tag more than 10 :slightly_smiling_face:)


Hi Craig,

I am new to OHDSI, and I have just signed up to participate in the upcoming COVID19 study-a-thon.
Can I ask how should I expect to access the data?

For example:

  • Will an ATLAS instance be made available when the study-a-thon begins, and I can run studies on the provided ATLAS instance?

  • Or will there be a CDM that is made available, and I can write SQL/R code against?

  • Or will neither be available, but there is a designated data partner, whom I can send my SQL/R code to? And the data partner will execute and return the results back to me?

  • etc

So far I’ve been learning ATLAS from the demo link http://www.ohdsi.org/web/atlas/#/home to prepare for this study-a-thon.


Hi Ricky,
Many of the details are still being finalized, and more information will be emailed to you later in the week. Thank you for signing up to participate!