Ms Priyanka Pillai, Academic Specialist – Research Data Stewardship and Health Informatics, The University of Melbourne

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07 February 2020 1152 reads

Priyanka Pillai is an academic specialist at the University of Melbourne with a background in bioinformatics and software programming. Priyanka works as a Research Data Steward for the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform (MDAP) that supports the uplift of data management capabilities at the University. Priyanka also works as a Health Informatics Specialist for the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) Centre of Excellence (CRE) based at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Her role as a health informatician for APPRISE CRE supports a geographically distributed network of data holders and researchers and provides strategic advice to facilitate national and international information sharing. Priyanka has been involved with science mentoring programs at the University and is an advocate of inclusivity of women in science.

Title of Plenary 15 Keynote Speech:
"The Role of Data in a Rapid and Coordinated Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks"

How does data support preparedness towards infectious disease emergencies? What information is needed to identify the start of an outbreak? How does data inform the potential severity and spread of an outbreak?

The infectious diseases data ecosystem is comprised of information from a wide range of sources like general practices, jurisdictional surveillance systems, clinical research, emergency departments, diagnostic laboratories, epidemiology studies and genomics. The carefully distilled knowledge from this diverse data ecosystem enables better preparedness for and response towards an outbreak.

Past infectious disease outbreaks have demonstrated several challenges associated with rapid aggregation, integration and sharing of data to inform a response during an outbreak. It is essential to improve data collection, facilitate data sharing and support data usage for decision-making in the infectious diseases community.

This keynote speech will describe the composition of the infectious disease data ecosystem and highlight some challenges from the past outbreaks associated with building the data ecosystem for a response. This speech will also describe how making data consistent and shareable has strengthened preparedness and response activities in present-day scenario.  

The slides from the virtual keynote are now available.