07 February 2023

Graphic of COVID-19 cells viewed through a magnifying glass

The Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (CVDL) is partnering with Bendigo Health to run a COVID-focused datathon – COVIDthon – bringing together teams of researchers to explore a range of research questions related to COVID-19, and its ongoing impact on healthcare and service delivery in Victoria.

The COVIDthon will be held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March 2023 at the La Trobe University Rural Health School Clinical Teaching Building in Bendigo.

Topics at the event will include:

  • the impact of the response to and treatments for COVID-19

  • comparisons of COVID-19 (including morbidity, mortality and severity) in the Loddon Mallee Local Government Area (LGA) with other rural, regional and metropolitan LGAs

  • evaluation of the impact of COVID Positive Pathways

  • the impact of COVID-19 vaccination

  • regional access and equity

  • long COVID

  • gender and cultural differences across these areas.

Dr Angela Crombie, Director Research and Innovation at Bendigo Health, said the health service is excited to offer the opportunity for a range of clinicians, researchers and data scientists to collaborate on finding answers to questions that are still highly relevant to the community and health services.

“This event will create many opportunities to stimulate ongoing research activity in this field and we can’t wait to see some of the insights the teams uncover during the event,” Dr Crombie said.

CVDL Specialist Manager Sharon Williams said the CVDL is excited to be partnering with Bendigo Health to support the COVIDthon and seeing such innovative use of linked data.

“We’re hopeful that through these kinds of events the evidence base around COVID-19 will continue to grow,” Ms Williams said. “It is also a great opportunity to showcase CVDL’s secure data access environment (VALT), which provides users access to relevant data all while protecting people’s privacy.”

The event will expose participants to a large amount of linked de-identified health record data for exploratory purposes, combining a range of datasets. These include TREVI (COVID-19 response and epidemiology data), VAED (hospital admissions data), VEMD (emergency department data), ANZICS (intensive care data), VINAH (non-admitted patient care), deaths and COVID-19 positive notifications and immunisations.

Participants will have the opportunity to present initial findings and summary data related to their research question, with the potential to apply for longer-term access to data to enable further research.

Expressions of interest are open to clinicians, researchers, data analysts and other staff to participate in the event, with applications closing on 24 February 2023. For further information, or to register your interest for the event, visit www.bendigohealth.org.au/researchevents.