COVID-19 and children: Cooperation aims to improve data situation

Children and adolescents were particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, good data proving the concrete consequences has often been lacking or difficult to find. A new cooperation between the coverCHILD and NFDI4Health projects aims to change this. At the centre of the cooperation is the German Central Health Study Hub, which enables coverCHILD to make study results on COVID-19 and its consequences for children and adolescents easier to find.

Child holds hands over his mouth.

Children and adolescents were particularly affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. But good data demonstrating concrete consequences has often been lacking or difficult to find.

The German Central Health Study Hub, a central component of NFDI4Health, is a platform for linking and integrating study data from various research projects in the health sector. coverCHILD will use the Hub to efficiently share its research results on COVID-19 and the impact of the pandemic on the mental and physical health of children and adolescents and make them accessible to other researchers.

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer, head of the coverCHILD project, expressed her enthusiasm about the cooperation: "The collaboration with NFDI4Health and the use of the German Central Health Study Hub are of great importance to us. It allows us to link our research findings on COVID-19 and its specific impact on children and adolescents with other studies and gain valuable insights. The increased discoverability and accessibility of the data will enable us and others to further advance research in this area and provide an evidence-based foundation for preventive measures and interventions."

The German Central Health Study Hub is a pioneering platform that facilitates collaboration and sharing of study data in the health sector. The integration of different data sources and the standardised processing of the data make the Hub a valuable tool for health research.

Prof. Dr. Juliane Fluck, spokesperson of NFDI4Health, emphasised the importance of the cooperation: "The cooperation with coverCHILD makes it possible to gain valuable insights into the effects of COVID-19 on children and adolescents. Integrating study data into the German Central Health Study Hub will greatly improve the visibility and availability of these important research findings. This promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing to better understand child and adolescent health and develop targeted interventions to protect their health. Also with a view to possible further pandemics."

About coverCHILD
The coverCHILD project addresses the unique situation of children, young people and their families in times of the Corona pandemic. It is about understanding how children and young people have come through the pandemic - health-wise, emotionally and socially - what support they need now and how their health needs and interests can be protected in future crises.

coverCHILD is a joint project within the Network University Medicine (NUM) and is funded by the BMBF. In the NUM, all 36 German university hospitals are conducting large interdisciplinary research projects together for the first time. The network was launched in 2020 to coordinate the COVID-19 research of all university hospitals. In the future, the NUM will research other diseases and involve as many partners as possible from medical science, health care and society. One focus is on the joint collection and use of complex medical research data.
About NFDI4Health
NFDI4Health is part of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) funded by the federal and state governments. NFDI4Health aims to build a comprehensive inventory of German epidemiological, public health and clinical trial data. The collection and analysis of these data are essential for the development of new therapies, comprehensive care approaches and preventive measures. Personal health data require special protection. The declared goal of NFDI4Health is therefore to combine security and usability. The consortium is made up of 17 partners from various disciplines. A total of 48 renowned institutions from the health sector are involved.

The COVID-19 Task Force, which emerged from the NFDI4Health consortium, initially set up the German Central Health Study Hub COVID-19. This is being continuously developed in NFDI4Health as a central search portal for health studies. The aim of the initiative was and is to establish a nationwide information infrastructure that supports research on COVID-19 and its consequences. BIPS has taken on central tasks in the NFDI4Health consortium: BIPS Director Prof. Dr. Iris Pigeot is deputy spokesperson of the overall consortium and coordinator of the Task Force COVID-19 .