The story behind MIT Public Health Radar
Public Health Radar is an advanced infection forecasting platform created by scientists and professionals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This platform aims at tracking the speed and severity of various infections spread, including COVID-19. This platform’s main idea is to combine data on diseases, demographics, population mobility, antibody test results, and environmental factors to help scientists evaluate the spread of infection and develop the most accurate decisions in mitigating its risks. Public Health Radar’s founders wanted to combine the public health research sector leaders and best data providers with a professional technical team to reduce risk to the most vulnerable infectious diseases.
The client looked for a technical partner with the expertise to build a seamlessly working and user-friendly infections tracking platform. Zazmic was able to demostrate a hands-on experience in healthtech projects as well as our skillful software engineering team to earn a chance to work together on this amazing platform.
According to the client’s analysis, data processing for precise evaluation, synthesis and recommendation still remains a large issue in the healthcare industry. As a result, MIT created a platform that will address the following industry challenges:
- Incomprehensible, fragmented data on infectious diseases, demographics, environmental factors, human mobility, and other data points are distributed among various vendors, making it extremely hard to analyze by researchers;
- Stale data causes at least five days delay in data reporting, resulting in a lack of real-time data statistics;
- Low infection trajectories for specific locations;
The main challenge for Zazmic was to create an advanced platform for accurate data collection, analysis sharing, and data-driven decision-making. Among technical challenges and requirements from the client to our development team, the main requirements were:
- Create an OpenIDConnect authentication for NodeBB, Wiki.JS, and email registrations;
- Assign an appropriate role for the created user. Each role should have the appropriate access level. The role should receive access to big data posted from BigQuery to share and import data among appropriate social environments on Wiki.JS and NodeBB.
- Build data ingestion from public big data resources, mapping this data and storing it in Public Health Radar Google Account on a scheduled basis.
In a nutshell, the solutions Zazmic developed for this platform are the following:
- We created different roles for users with an appropriate access level to read, update, and delete publications in forums and Wiki.
- Implemented Open ID Connect to verify the identity of the platform’s end-user;
- Built tables in BigQuery to store and order ingested data;
- Created several scheduled scripts for data ingestion from public big data repositories/resources.
This platform is an extremely useful solution for the healthcare industry, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic times. In general, our team was responsible for three main parts of the Public Health Radar platform: data, documentation, and forums. We implemented solutions to unify all data the platform owns (medical, environmental, demographical), ensure seamless documentation storing and processing, and engage the community to serve a common global goal. Due to the Public Health Radar collaborative data platform, scientists can now control the spread of any infection, predict its growth and severity, and provide data-driven real-time solutions to mitigate possible risks caused by infectious diseases.