COVID-19 has changed many things about health care and health data. Data collection and processing via digital public health technologies are key remedies for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and loosening lockdown measures. The Lancet brought this interesting news to our attention in their article, “Digital tools against COVID-19: taxonomy, ethical challenges, and navigation aid.”

The ethical and legal boundaries of deploying digital tools for disease surveillance and control purposes are fuzzy. A rapidly evolving debate has emerged globally around the promises and risks of mobilizing digital tools for public health. The collection and use of data is presented as a key strategic remedy by governments and private actors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public health experts and researchers from diverse fields have pointed out the broad range of insights that can be gained by collecting, analyzing and sharing data from diverse digital sources.

Given the magnitude of this pandemic and the constantly changing nature of technological solutions, flexible might be the key word.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.