As many of the most forward-thinking tech and biopharma behemoths — from Apple and Google to Gilead and MIT — rush in to use their savvy and expertise to help fight Covid-19, some of their independent efforts risk undermining their common goals.
For all the know-how and good intentions of these institutions, responding to a global pandemic is far different than operating in the private sector. In interviews with STAT, several researchers and technology experts said that instead of collaborating and seeding innovation, some groups are effectively duplicating each other’s work or competing for limited resources — which could stymie progress in the pandemic response, the experts warned.
“It’s noisy,” said Eric Perakslis, a data science researcher and fellow at Duke University who led technology efforts for Ebola response programs in West Africa. “While these efforts are well-meaning, they do lower all boats in a way….”