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A Hybrid Architecture (CO-CONNECT) to Facilitate Rapid Discovery and Access to Data Across the United Kingdom in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development Study

Jefferson, Emily; Cole, Christian; Mumtaz, Shahzad; Cox, Sam; Giles, Tom; Adejumo, Samuel; Urwin, Esmond; Lea, Daniel; McDonald, Calum; Best, Joseph; Masood, Erum; Milligan, Gordon; Johnston, Jenny; Horban, Scott; Birced, Ipek; Hall, Christopher; Jackson, Aaron; Collins, Clare; Rising, Sam; Dodsley, Charlotte; Hampton, Jill; Hadfield, Andrew; Santos, Roberto; Tarr, Simon; Panagi, Vasiliki; Lavagna, Joseph; Jackson, Tracy; Chuter, Antony; Beggs, Jillian; Martinez-Queipo, Magdalena; Ward, Helen; von Ziegenweidt, Julie; Burns, Frances; Martin, Jo; Sebire, Neil; Morris, Carole; Bradley, Declan; Baxter, Rob; Ahonen-Bishop, Anni; Shoemark, Amelia; Valdes, Ana; Ollivere, Benjamin J; Manisty, Charlotte; Eyre, David William; Gallant, Stephanie; Joy, George; McAuley, Andrew; Connell, David W; Northstone, Kate; Jeffery, Katie JM; Di Angelantonio, Emanuele; McMahon, Amy; Walker, Matthew; Semple, Malcolm Gracie; Sims, Jessica Mai; Lawrence, Emma; Davies, Bethan; Baillie, J Kenneth; Tang, Ming; Leem...


Emily Jefferson

Christian Cole

Shahzad Mumtaz

Sam Cox

Tom Giles

Samuel Adejumo

Esmond Urwin

Daniel Lea

Calum McDonald

Joseph Best

Erum Masood

Gordon Milligan

Jenny Johnston

Scott Horban

Ipek Birced

Christopher Hall

Aaron Jackson

Clare Collins

Sam Rising

Charlotte Dodsley

Jill Hampton

Andrew Hadfield

Roberto Santos

Simon Tarr

Vasiliki Panagi

Joseph Lavagna

Tracy Jackson

Antony Chuter

Jillian Beggs

Magdalena Martinez-Queipo

Helen Ward

Julie von Ziegenweidt

Frances Burns

Jo Martin

Neil Sebire

Carole Morris

Declan Bradley

Rob Baxter

Anni Ahonen-Bishop

Amelia Shoemark

Benjamin J Ollivere

Charlotte Manisty

David William Eyre

Stephanie Gallant

George Joy

Andrew McAuley

David W Connell

Kate Northstone

Katie JM Jeffery

Emanuele Di Angelantonio

Amy McMahon

Matthew Walker

Malcolm Gracie Semple

Jessica Mai Sims

Emma Lawrence

Bethan Davies

J Kenneth Baillie

Ming Tang

Gary Leeming

Linda Power

Thomas Breeze

Natalie Gilson

Duncan J Murray

Chris Orton

Iain Pierce

Professor of Molecular Medicine

Shamez Ladhani

Matthew Whitaker

Laura Shallcross

David Seymour

Susheel Varma

Gerry Reilly

Andrew Morris

Susan Hopkins

Aziz Sheikh

Philip Quinlan


COVID-19 data have been generated across the United Kingdom as a by-product of clinical care and public health provision, as well as numerous bespoke and repurposed research endeavors. Analysis of these data has underpinned the United Kingdom’s response to the pandemic, and informed public health policies and clinical guidelines. However, these data are held by different organizations, and this fragmented landscape has presented challenges for public health agencies and researchers as they struggle to find relevant data to access and interrogate the data they need to inform the pandemic response at pace.

We aimed to transform UK COVID-19 diagnostic data sets to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR).

A federated infrastructure model (COVID - Curated and Open Analysis and Research Platform [CO-CONNECT]) was rapidly built to enable the automated and reproducible mapping of health data partners’ pseudonymized data to the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership Common Data Model without the need for any data to leave the data controllers’ secure environments, and to support federated cohort discovery queries and meta-analysis.

A total of 56 data sets from 19 organizations are being connected to the federated network. The data include research cohorts and COVID-19 data collected through routine health care provision linked to longitudinal health care records and demographics. The infrastructure is live, supporting aggregate-level querying of data across the United Kingdom.

CO-CONNECT was developed by a multidisciplinary team. It enables rapid COVID-19 data discovery and instantaneous meta-analysis across data sources, and it is researching streamlined data extraction for use in a Trusted Research Environment for research and public health analysis. CO-CONNECT has the potential to make UK health data more interconnected and better able to answer national-level research questions while maintaining patient confidentiality and local governance procedures.


Jefferson, E., Cole, C., Mumtaz, S., Cox, S., Giles, T., Adejumo, S., …Quinlan, P. (2022). A Hybrid Architecture (CO-CONNECT) to Facilitate Rapid Discovery and Access to Data Across the United Kingdom in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Development Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24(12), Article e40035.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 7, 2022
Publication Date Dec 27, 2022
Deposit Date Dec 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2023
Electronic ISSN 1438-8871
Publisher JMIR Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 12
Article Number e40035
Keywords Health Informatics
Public URL
Publisher URL


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