Infectious disease has always been a part of human history. Ancient latrines along the Silk Road show evidence of parasitic worms going back at least two thousand years. Dig further (pun intended!), and you have scientists unearthing bones from primitive hominids that indicate contagious bacterial infections were affecting us even then — at least two million years ago! From various outbreaks of plague over the last 2,500 years to the Spanish Flu in 1918 (as well as hundreds of others in between), infectious disease has played an important role in human civilization, altering our migrations, our lifestyles and, perhaps, our evolution.
In the 21st century, infectious disease is still wreaking havoc. Increased accessibility and lowered costs have made travel among and between countries much more commonplace, permitting the easy transport of “bugs” from place to place and person to person. Although infectious disease might be just as or more prevalent in modern society as it was in antiquity, the good news is this: we are more equipped to handle its effects now. Not only do we have medical advancements proffering treatments and cures, we have tools that enable all of us to better control our own risk and the transmission and spread of germs. Indeed, one of the most powerful weapons humans have to combat an infectious disease today is data, the cornerstone of the work we here at Communications for Research (CFR) so adamantly value and extol.
Today’s COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on humanity, precipitating the loss of liberty, livelihood and life in unprecedented numbers. And because we don’t yet have a cure, our best defense has been and continues to be accurate and reliable information. Here’s why existing data is so important during a crisis like COVID-19:
It Reveal Details
Existing data provides easy access to details about patients, service providers and others. It not only identifies people needing help, but those who might be able to offer it in some way. Simple demographic data makes it easier to learn the who and what and where of the people and businesses affected by a disease.
It Helps Identify Patterns
Furthermore, data patterns often indicate correlation, causation and more. This is important when treating disease, as it enables physicians, researchers, drug manufacturers and others to more quickly recognize meaningful insight and develop action plans capable of positive outcomes.
It Can Predict Trends
Finally, historical data provides clues about past events, enabling researchers to better predict future ones. Using data over time to shed light on all sorts of behaviors, researchers can anticipate and address potential situations with a proactive approach rather than a reactive one.
Want to Learn More?
Data is the foundation of all we do here at Communications for Research. We believe in the value of solid market research, knowing it can improve productivity, increase ROI and even save lives. During a public health crisis, especially, having good information already on hand means the scientific community can analyze it and put it to use today — not in two months time after its had time to collect and transcribe and review it. In this way, good data is good insurance. If you’d like to learn how to best safeguard the business and people you love, please contact us.