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Western Digital and Qumulo Strengthen IHME COVID-19 Health Analytics and Vaccine Roll Out

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Western Digital and Qumulo Strengthen IHME COVID-19 Health Analytics and Vaccine Roll Out, SiliconNigeria

Architecting how data enables the world to solve its biggest problems, Western Digital Corp. announced today that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in partnership with Qumulo, a breakthrough leader in file data management for hybrid cloud environments, is employing Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC HC550 18TB HDDs and UltrastarDC SN640 NVMeTM SSDs for ongoing COVID-19 research and vaccine rollout.

 IHME, based at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, is an independent global health research organization. Their mission is to improve the health of the world’s population by providing the best freely available public health information to policymakers and healthcare institutions. By providing this data, organizations can make informed decisions critical to saving lives.

 “When the World Health Organization officially announced a pandemic, requests from hospitals, state governments and other countries started pouring in for models of data and forecasts,” said Serkan Yalcin, director of IT Infrastructure at IHME. “Teaming up with Qumulo from the beginning and utilizing Western Digital drives has enabled us to distill hundreds of millions of data points into a single visualization which allows policymakers to easily view results and communicate them with their teams. Now, as vaccines are rolling out around the world, we have been able to further extend projections with even more data to give decision makers the most robust information possible.”

Capturing and analyzing large data sets requires top-of-the-line storage infrastructure. Qumulo provides file data platforms to help organizations easily store and manage file data. The C-432T offers a cached- performance hybrid storage system for data center, private and public cloud environments. This high-performance system yields a dynamically scalable architecture and real-time visibility of data imperative to organizations like IHME with massive amounts of data.

 Qumulo’s system includes Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC HC550 18TB HDDs with HelioSeal® technology for their high capacities, low power and high reliability. Ultrastar DC SN640 NVMe SSDs are leveraged to provide extreme performance with six times improvement in sequential read compared to SATA SSDs, which allows for faster data analysis. With Western Digital’s vertically integrated storage devices, Qumulo’s C-432T provides 432TB of raw storage capacity in a 2U configuration.  

“Partnering with Western Digital helped us to deliver a fast, reliable file data platform to IHME that analyzes up to 20x more data every day than previous solutions,” said Ben Gitenstein, vice president of product at Qumulo. “Our software-driven platform offers enterprise-level capabilities that radically simplifies analytics of massive data sets which is critical for customers to be successful with unstructured data. This partnership with Western Digital allows customers like IHME to simplify the complexity of their infrastructure, accelerate innovation and unleash the power of their data, wherever it resides.” 

“Scaling for increased data demand is a common hurdle organizations face. In this case, the increase of data was sudden and exponential,” said Andrew Dorian, vice president of data center hard drives at Western Digital. “We’re honored to work with Qumulo to provide the storage foundation to help IHME create data-driven, science-based, actionable plans to combat COVID-19. In partnership with Qumulo, we were able to quickly provide a scalable on-premises file storage system with high-capacity HDDs and high-performance NVMe SSDs to address a surge in data that benefits people everywhere.”  

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COVID-19: 9mobile Pledges Support for Health Workers

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COVID-19: 9mobile Pledges Support for Health Workers, SiliconNigeria

Nigeria’s caring telecommunications company, 9mobile, has paid glowing tribute to Dr. Ayodeji Falana and other health workers who have been outstanding in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the last one year. Dr. Falana was adjudged most outstanding health worker for his leadership and dedicated service.

The commendation came as 9mobile visited health workers on Saturday February 27 at the Lagos State Government isolation centre of Mainland Hospital, Yaba otherwise known as Infectious Disease Hospital.

The 9mobile initiative is designed to appreciate the efforts of health workers who have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 across the country. A minute silence was observed in honor of health workers and Nigerians who lost their lives to Covid-19.

Commending health workers nationwide, 9mobile’s Public Relations Lead, Chineze Amanfo, who represented the Executive Director, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Abdulrahman Ado, recalled that it was exactly one year that the index case was recorded in Nigeria. She stated that “we decided to visit the isolation centre in Yaba to appreciate the health workers who have been at the forefront in this fight against Covid-19. 9mobile appreciates your commitment and dedication because you are the real heroes in the fight against Coronavirus. 9mobile applauds your dedicated service and reiterates that we are solidly you.”

Amanfo, who presented a plaque of recognition to the recipient and other gift items to the health workers on behalf of 9mobile, also saluted the bravery of the health workers. She said that despite the disruption and loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic, health workers have continued to show exemplary commitment.

In his response, the Medical Director of Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Dr. Abimbola Bowale said that “I received the Covid-19 index patient on February 27, 2020, and it has been a very long journey since then. Unfortunately, we have reported some deaths and for the health workers, it has been very demanding for us. So, this is a very significant day. This facility is the largest facility where Covid-19 patients are treated. We are very proud of the enormous work and commitment of our staff in the fight against Covid-19. Our health workers have shown resilience. We appreciate 9mobile for their show of support. I am excited for what they have done today”.

The recipient of the award, Dr. Ayodeji Falana appreciated 9mobile for shinning its spotlight on the selfless sacrifices of health workers in Nigeria. He said that, “I have been involved in the fight against infectious diseases for a very long time. Hence, it feels good to be appreciated and it shows that when you work hard, you will eventually be recognized and appreciated. Covid-19 provided us with the opportunity to serve Nigeria with our capacities and capabilities. I heartily appreciate 9mobile for encouraging us to do more for the Nigerian healthcare system”.

According to his official citation, Dr.  Ayodeji Falana, an alumnus of Obafemi Awolowo University, has played a pivotal role in transforming the clinical landscape of the Mainland Hospital in the past one year with his contribution to the fight against Covid-19. As a clinician in the facility for over a decade, he was actively involved in the fight against Ebola in 2014, treating and managing infected patients.  This prepared him for the mantle of leadership in the fight against Covid-19 when he was posted by the Lagos State Covid-19 Case Management Pillar Lead to serve as the Medical Lead for Eti-Osa Isolation Centre in April 2020. He has shown commitment, drive, innovation, selflessness and has made enduring impact.

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IT in Healthcare

Google.org’s New Tracking Tool Leverages Global Health Stats To Tackle COVID-19

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Google.org’s new tracking tool leverages global health stats to tackle COVID-19, SiliconNigeria

Google.org has joined hands with a consortium of COVID-19 researchers to announce the launch of Global.health, an open-access epidemiological data platform that enables experts to track disease spread in real-time and to forecast future outbreaks, so informing effective government and public response.

With the support of Google.org, researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, Northeastern University and Oxford University created Global.health with the express purpose of leveraging anonymised data from open-access authoritative public health sources to track disease progression. 

Data has always been a vital tool in understanding and fighting disease, says Kernie Obimakinde, Google.org Research Fellow, but upholding data privacy has also been a critical aspect in the design of Global.health.

“When an outbreak occurs, timely access to organised, trustworthy and anonymised data is critical as it can help public health leaders formulate early policy, medical interventions, and resource allocation — all of which can slow the spread of disease and save lives,” he explains.

The Global.health team are confident that the platform will become a key addition to the world’s early warning systems toolbox, helping identify and respond to future epidemics and pandemics that may occur globally, regionally and nationally.

Earlier research work by the consortium helped detect the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, and alert the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yet, due to the rapid spread of the virus around the world and the overwhelming pressure it created on their systems, the researchers tag-teamed with Google.org to urgently build Global.health.

The grant is part of a broader Google.org $100-million commitment to COVID-19 relief that was announced alongside 30 other projects from organisations around the world using AI and data analytics to support pandemic relief efforts. 

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IT in Healthcare

WCWDT 4: MTN Foundation Hands Over Medical Equipment To Primary Health Centres

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WCWDT 4: MTN Foundation hands over Medical equipment to Primary Health Centres, SiliconNigeria

MTN Foundation, the social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, has donated medical equipment to 12 primary health centres across Nigeria in the fourth phase of its What Can We Do Together (WCWDT) campaign. The initiative allows Nigerians to nominate selected projects they consider of utmost need to their communities. The nomination of primary health centres in the fourth phase is in collaboration with the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Speaking on the donation, Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary MTN Foundation said, “What Can We Do Together is in line with our social investment mandates to ensure that Nigerians have better expectations of medical facilities that work. Since 2015, we have executed projects in partnership with nominated communities across Nigeria. We partner with the people to make their lives brighter.”

Items donated include delivery beds, adult weight and height scales, screens, foetal dopplers, baby weight scales, mattresses and pillows, manual succession machines, extractors, disinfectants, footwears, infrared thermometers, disposable gowns, aprons, gloves, hand sanitizers, megaphones, stretchers, eye charts, Samsung tabs, disposable nose masks, among others.

Recipients also expressed gratitude to MTN on behalf of their communities. Doctor-in-Charge, General Hospital, Apata, Oyo State, Dr. Tijani Adejare, said, “The medical equipment donated are of great quality. With this donation, we can save more lives and give better services to our patients. We are glad that MTN took interest in the welfare of the people and selected our health centre for this gesture.’’

In the same vein, the Officer-in-charge, Oko Erin Basic Health Centre, Ilorin, Kwara State, Mrs. Ahmed Sekinat Iyabo, said “Prior to MTN’s donation, we have never had a foetal doppler. The weight scale, foetal doppler, hand sanitizers, face masks, and other items will be useful to the clinic and to the community. We are very grateful. The equipment will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our work.”

The MTN Foundation has donated medical equipment to 132 Primary Health Centres across the country in previous phases of WCWDT.

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