The current crisis is worldwide and the integration of cohort data from various studies and populations will become key to learn how to cope best with similar situations in the future. The quality of data is crucial, and today we see very different protocols and methodologies for collecting data in different countries and studies. We see political bias and deficits due to limited capacities (e.g. for testing). 

SYNCHROS can’t do much in the current situation.  Nevertheless, we analyze and describe cohorts, publish repositories and provide information and instruments to better harmonize and integrate the data. Our systematic compilation of cohorts and guidance for ex-post harmonization may help in the future, even with regard to today’s COVID-19-cohorts.

Read more in the second edition of Synchros newsletter!

On behalf of the SYNCHROS-Project Team, thank you for your interest. We look forward to sharing and future dialogues.

Dear Colleagues,

Today, with the COVID-19-outbreak, we are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic crisis.  Around the globe people practice “social distancing” to protect themselves and others, non-crucial businesses are locked down and many employees work from home. In order to better adjust the necessary degree of restrictions, political decision makers need sound information of the spread of the virus in a population and specific groups. On that score cohort data are indispensable. COVID-19 triggers the collection of new data around the globe.

Epidemiological analyses provide urgently needed stratified data, e.g. who is infected (young, old, social groups), who is specifically at risk, mortality etc. But we also expect long term effects when the immediate crisis will be over; negative ones such as chronic health problems for those infected (e.g. COPD, mental), effects of economic hardship like unemployment, changes of behavioral patterns and habits, smoking, alcohol. But we may also see effects where today we are not in a position to judge whether its positive, negative or both, e.g. effects of altered educational or family practice in children. Or the accelerated adoption of online services for shopping, working and teaching processes. Home-office – often a desired option at normal times – can become a challenge when it’s mandatory and no end in sight.

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