Tuesday, 10 December 2019

CDC, Certara to upgrade the agency’s death investigation and surveillance systems

06 March 2019 | News

Certara will partner with CDC to create OpenMDI (Open Medicolegal Death Investigation), a national system that will collect and share mortality data efficiently, allowing CDC to respond rapidly to critical public health priorities, such as tracking and understanding the toxicology behind drug overdoses from opioids

Certara®, the global leader in model-informed drug development, regulatory science, real-world evidence and market access services, announced that the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has awarded it a contract to strengthen the Agency’s death investigation and surveillance systems. Certara will use its industry-leading OpenPharma™ technologies, and the CDC’s own open functionality in OpenCDC, to create OpenMDI. This new OpenMDI 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. 

CDC is a data-centric organization 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). 

Under the contract, Certara will address several CDC-stated challenges, such as:

  • Developing data standards and standards-based data access mechanisms (e.g., HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources [FHIR] Application Programming Interfaces) to help medical examiners and coroner (ME/Cs) offices share critical information regarding deaths with public health significance,
  • Expanding adoption of standards-based, scalable, and software-as-a-service electronic case management systems for ME/Cs,
  • Identifying ways in which existing ME/C case management systems can be enhanced to help promote interoperability—permitting meaningful, automated, multi-directional exchange and use of data—and enable a coordinated response to multistate, high-priority threats,
  • Integrating electronic ME/C case management systems with state-based Electronic Death Registration systems and one other electronic public health system. 

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

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