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How COVID-19 has Accelerated the Journey to Data-driven Health Decisions

YOW! Data 2020

The speed with which COVID-19 has taken over the world has raised the demand for data-
driven health decisions and the shift towards virtual may actually enable the necessary data
collection. This session talks about how CSIRO has leveraged cloud-native technologies to
advance three areas of the COVID-19 response: firstly we worked with GISAID, the largest
data resource for the virus causing COVID-19 and use standard health terminologies (FHIR)
to help collect clinical patient data. This feeds into a Docker-based workflow that creates
identifying “fingerprints” of the virus for guiding vaccine developments and investigating
whether there are more pathogenic versions of the virus. Secondly, we developed a fully
serverless web-service for tailoring diagnostics efforts, capable of differentiating between
strains. Thirdly, we are creating a serverless COVID-19 analysis platform that allows
distributed genomics and patient data to be shared and analysed in a privacy- and
ownership-preserving manner and functioning as a surveillance system for detecting more
virulent strains early.

Dr. Denis Bauer

Team Leader Transformational Bioinformatics



Dr Denis Bauer head of cloud computing, Bioinformatics, at Australia’s government research agency. She is an internationally recognised expert in machine learning and cloud-based genomics, having presented at AWS Summit, Canberra, 2018 and Open data science conference, India, 2018. Her achievements include developing open-source machine-learning cloud services that accelerate disease research, which is used by 10,000 researchers annually.