ESR has been working in collaboration with Epi-Interactive to create a COVID-19 dashboard to provide the public with information about cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
The dashboard(external link) provides information for the public on: the number of cases over time, a map of the cases by district health board, the age, sex and ethnicity of cases; and the source case (whether they are linked to international travel or contact with a known case).
The public-facing dashboard is updated daily, while the dashboard for the Ministry of Health is updated in real-time.
Dr Lisa Oakley says the dashboard will allow decision makers to access New Zealand-specific information in a timely and accessible manner.
“We have seen a number of dashboards for COVID-19, but this dashboard considers the New Zealand context and reports by DHBs, ethnic and age groups and by gender. It is fed by up-to-date data. Making informed decisions is not simply reliant on having the right data but having that data in a format that is accessible to those making the decisions.
“The dashboard has not been designed only for the Ministry of Health, but also as a source of information for the public. This was an important consideration both by the Ministry of Health and ESR.”
Data and Informatics Manager Andrew Crooke says there has been a flurry of work, often in the early hours of the morning, as the team raced to get this dashboard up.
“ESR is ideally placed to produce this kind of tool. The data and Informatics team at ESR have led the charge for this dashboard and have worked closely with Epi-Interactive, who specialise in taking complex information and making it visually interesting and accessible. This dashboard has been specifically designed to allow that ease of access while delivering wealth of information in a user-friendly manner. Development of the dashboard required input from data scientists, epidemiologists, data visualisation specialists and public health specialists.”
Over time, ESR will update the dashboard as directed by the Ministry of Health.
Dr Oakley says the dashboard is one part of ESR’s health intelligence services for COVID-19 and other diseases.
“ESR is contracted by the Ministry of Health to collect and epidemiologically analyse data on notifiable diseases and we employ experts in data analysis, interpretation, public health, computer science and data visualisation. ESR has the largest group of specialists in infectious disease surveillance and analysis in New Zealand. Alongside the dashboard, the team have been working to set up a range of new systems for enhanced surveillance for the Ministry of Health, working hard to establish contact systems and a national data repository for test results.”