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Community Covid-19 Infection Study Underway

Covid-19 illustration

(CDC.gov)

15 Apr. 2020. A study is underway to track Covid-19 infection patterns in homes and communities in the U.S. southeastern and middle-Atlantic states. The project is a joint effort of Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina affiliated with Wake Forest University, clinical research company Javara Inc. in Winston-Salem, and cloud/database software and services provider Oracle.

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic is now centered in the U.S., and while the New York City region accounts for much of the nation’s infections and hospitalizations, other parts of the country are also feeling its effects. A study team led by John Sanders, chief of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Health aims to track the course of the disease in near real time through the Carolinas, Georgia, and around Washington, D.C.

The project asks participants to provide data each day on their health condition through apps and home diagnostics kits, then transfer the data to an online portal provided by Oracle. The portal connects to the company’s patient monitoring system, which Wake Forest Baptist and Javara worked with Oracle to develop. The project sponsors say North Carolina’s legislature approved a grant of $100,000 to purchase and distribute home test kits to participants in that state, with enrollments beginning last week.

“This study,” says Sanders in joint statement, “should rapidly allow us to define the epidemic on a regional basis and establish the framework to both track the disease in real time and answer critical secondary research questions.”

So far Atrium Health, a leading health care system with providers in the Carolinas and Georgia is joining the project, as well as Medstar Health, the largest health care system in Washington, D.C. and neighboring Maryland. In data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, as of yesterday (14 April) those four states plus D.C. account for 34,330 positive tests for Covid-19, 6,279 hospitalizations, and 1,075 deaths from the disease.

Javara is a contract research company that conducts clinical trials for study sponsors, such as pharmaceutical companies, foundations, and health care advocacy groups. Most of its partner organizations are in the mid-Atlantic and southeast U.S. regions.

“Right now,” notes Jennifer Byrne, CEO of Javara, “information is our most valuable weapon, and by integrating community-based clinical care with remote-enabled clinical research, this project will contribute vital information to the fight against coronavirus.”

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