UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

University of California Health announced Monday that it will send out daily online updates regarding the number of positive COVID-19 tests and age distribution of confirmed cases from its five medical centers across the state, including UC San Diego Health.

The online dashboard, which can be viewed on the @UofCAHealth Twitter account, will display daily testing information from UCSD Health, UC Davis Health, UCI Health, UCLA Health and UCSF Health.

UC Health officials say the updates will help state and federal officials see the rates of increase and geographic spread of COVID-19 cases in near real-time.

“We’re able to provide a near real-time picture of the current COVID- 19 situation across our system, which because of its reach can be a proxy for the state conditions,” said Atul Butte, chief data scientist and the director of the Center for Data-driven Insights and Innovation at UC Health. “Thanks to the architecture and functionality of the data system, users can see the information at the level they need whether that is a statewide overview or specifics by location.”

To date, UC Health says more than 13,000 patients have been tested at its medical centers, with a positive rate of 6.64%.

The initial post on the Twitter page states that 2,766 patients were tested at UCSD, with 116 of those cases testing positive for COVID-19. Results are pending for 73 patients.

“Real-time data is critical to the practice of medicine today,” said Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president of UC Health. “By drawing on our deep and knowledgeable data science experts across the university, we are able to rapidly build and launch this reporting tool. It is critical information to create transparency on key pandemic-related trends in the state.

“We’re uniquely positioned with our academic health centers located across the state to give public health and elected officials the visibility they need for responding to this pandemic,” she added.

— City News Service

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