OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work is to demonstrate the use of a standardized health informatics framework to generate reliable and reproducible real-world evidence from Latin America and South Asia towards characterizing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Global South. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patient-level COVID-19 records collected in a patient self-reported notification system, hospital in-patient and out-patient records, and community diagnostic labs were harmonized to the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership common data model and analyzed using a federated network analytics framework. Clinical characteristics of individuals tested for, diagnosed with or tested positive for, hospitalized with, admitted to intensive care unit with, or dying with COVID-19 were estimated. RESULTS: Two COVID-19 databases covering 8.3 million people from Pakistan and 2.6 million people from Bahia, Brazil were analyzed. 109 504 (Pakistan) and 921 (Brazil) medical concepts were harmonized to Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership common data model. In total, 341 505 (4.1%) people in the Pakistan dataset and 1 312 832 (49.2%) people in the Brazilian dataset were tested for COVID-19 between January 1, 2020 and April 20, 2022, with a median [IQR] age of 36 [25, 76] and 38 (27, 50); 40.3% and 56.5% were female in Pakistan and Brazil, respectively. 1.2% percent individuals in the Pakistan dataset had Afghan ethnicity. In Brazil, 52.3% had mixed ethnicity. In agreement with international findings, COVID-19 outcomes were more severe in men, elderly, and those with underlying health conditions. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 data from 2 large countries in the Global South were harmonized and analyzed using a standardized health informatics framework developed by an international community of health informaticians. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates a potential open science framework for global knowledge mobilization and clinical translation for timely response to healthcare needs in pandemics and beyond.
J am med inform assoc
COVID-19, OMOP common data model, federated data network, health equity, observational data