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CDC selects Certara to develop technology platform

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Certara has announced that it will partner with the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to strengthen the Agency’s death investigation and surveillance systems. Certara will use its OpenPharma technologies, and the CDC’s own open functionality in OpenCDC, to create OpenMDI. This new platform will improve the timeliness and quality of drug mortality data collected, and the interoperability of state electronic death registration systems.

This program was one of 10 focus areas identified by the CDC under its Broad Agency Announcement through which it plans to use applied research to address emerging public health priorities.

‘Enabling the CDC to upgrade its historical analysis approach to one that leverages predictive analytics and ‘near real time’ data to address global health challenges is at the core of Certara’s mission,’ said Certara’s CEO Dr Edmundo Muniz. ‘We are privileged to be working alongside the CDC in creating a death surveillance system that aggregates disparate data in a secure and private structure facilitating decision-support analysis, visualization and reporting of toxicology and other key drug-induced death information to address the drug overdose crisis in this country.’

Over 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day (that includes prescription opioids and heroin)1, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). More than 70,200 Americans are estimated to have died from a drug overdose in 2017. The sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths.2

‘Public-private partnerships are critical to achieving our public health mission. Partners like Certara have demonstrated a clear commitment to open technologies by embracing the modern software development practices that OpenCDC and other open technologies, such as HL7’s FHIR, bring into the public domain,’ noted Steven Schwartz, Director of the NCHS Division of Vital Statistics at CDC. ‘By building specific functional solutions that leverage these assets, we pave the path for the development of more interoperable, sustainable and cost-efficient software for public health in the long-term.’

CDC is a data-centric organisation and its primary tasks include managing information in the most secure, efficient, and insightful way to inform the nation and the world about public health issues. Compounding the complexity of its role, the CDC receives data from 57 US jurisdictions and literally thousands of data systems. These systems were not designed to foster ‘real time,’ automated data delivery and information exchange, which are needed today to support public health surveillance and active response by the agency.

Certara’s Open Application Programming Interface (OpenAPI) specification compliant OpenPharma technology provides a large-scale, modern, real-time services-based architecture platform from which to build sophisticated healthcare solutions. OpenPharma is built to handle ingestion and transformation of a variety of data types, real-time processing of machine-to-machine transactions, and secure, distributed collaboration (using the Hedera Hashgraph distributed ledger technology).

These advances will help to maximise the efficiency and applicability of CDC’s response to current and evolving public health threats.

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db329_tables-508.pdf#4
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates