A Message from Isaac Kohane
Right from the start, in March 2020, it was clear that there were going to be numerous international research studies collecting and analyzing data on COVID-19 patients. But those of us with experience with system-wide data, particularly EHR-derived data knew that we were facing a tall order. We had to move fast because the need was urgent. Yet, given the heterogeneity of our institutions and practices, how could we develop a reliable big picture of what was happening to our patients? Launched in March, 2020, 4CE is a unique project that engages local experts in informatics, statistics and clinical medicine at more than 350 hospitals across 9 countries on 4 continents to iteratively improve sites’ data quality, understand the limitations of EHR data on COVID-19 patients, and conduct rapid analyses through a federated model that reduces barriers to participation. We believe that early intelligence is worth more than complete intelligence later. Our goal is to move quickly, publish results, and share lessons learned with others.