Formerly known as Covid-19 Knowledge Accelerator

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What is the basic idea?

We need to know how to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19. The sooner we know what works the sooner we overcome. We learn what works by carefully evaluating all the relevant research and observations. We have a lot to learn and we have many people who know how to do this careful evaluation to learn it.

One way we accelerate our knowledge about COVID-19 is to share what we learn and coordinate among the many working to develop our knowledge. This way we reduce excess duplication and cover more needs. A focus of the COVID-19 Knowledge Accelerator is for people creating the systematic reviews of our research to share and coordinate their efforts. But there are other purposes of this project. Let’s help each other learn how to do it faster while we are doing it.

For a 2-page summary of this idea see COVID-19 Knowledge Accelerator: Help Us Help Us Overcome COVID-19 Impact at the Speed of Thought

Another way we accelerate our knowledge about COVID-19 is to use computers in advanced ways like what may be called artificial intelligence, machine learning, machine intelligence, natural language processing, supercomputers, or high-performance computing. Computers are not able to do this yet because we have not yet trained a machine how to evaluate scientific research to determine what works. The people doing the systematic reviews can train the machine on what they do, and the machine can be developed to help the people do it faster. Let’s help each other learn how to do it faster while we are doing it.

How can I help?

You can join any group meeting at any time.

Here’s the current meeting schedule:

Weekly Meeting Schedule

Some of Our Work Groups Have Changed!

(Meeting Times Last Updated 01/06/23)

DayTime (Eastern Time Zone)Work Group
Monday 8-9 am Project Management
Monday 9-10 amSetting the SRDR Platform on FHIR WG
Monday10-11 amResearchonFHIR WG
Tuesday11am-12 pmCommon Metadata Framework WG
Tuesday2-3 pmResearch Design WG
Wednesday 8-9 amKnowledge Ecosystem Liaison WG
Wednesday9-10 amStatistic Standard and Terminology WG
Thursday8-9 amEBM Implementation Guide WG (A CDS EBM sub-WG)
Thursday9-10 amComputable EBM Tools Development WG
Thursday4-5 pmProject Management
Friday8-9 amGRADE Vocabulary WG
Friday9-10 am Risk of Bias Terminology and Tooling WG
Friday10-11 amCommunications (Awareness, Scholarly Publications) WG
Friday 12-1 pmEligibility Criteria WG

How to Join the Meetings

To attend any of these working group meetings use this link to join the Microsoft Teams meeting. To join by phone, dial: +1 929-346-7156 for United States with Conference ID: 324 918 025#, or see Local Phone Numbers.

  • Project Management: Project coordination and technical standards development
    • This work group will maintain the FHIR Citation, Evidence, EvidenceReport, EvidenceVariable, and Statistic Resources.
    • Meeting times: Mondays at 8:00am to 9:00am ET, and Thursdays 4:00pm to 5:00pm ET 
  • Research Design Work Group This replaces the ‘Study Design Code System Development Steering Group’
    • This WG will focus on the FHIR ResearchStudy Resource and the Study Design Code System, and may network with other groups focused on the research production efforts (eg. N3C, CDISC, Project Vulcan, OHDSI).
    • Meeting time: Tuesdays at 2:00pm to 3:00pm ET
  • Terminology and Ontology Work Group (Code System Development Steering Group
    • This replaces the ‘Statistic Type Code System Development Steering Group’
    • This WG will focus on the conversion of our data (developed through the Code System Development Protocol) to FHIR CodeSystem, ValueSet, and ConceptMap Resources; coordination with ontology developers, and the steering group management of the Code System Development efforts
    • Meeting time: Mondays at 1:00pm to 2:00pm ET
  • Statistic Standard and Terminology Work Group:
    • Meeting time: Wednesdays at 9:00pm to 10:00am ET
    • This replaces the ‘Statistic Model Code System Development Steering Group’
    • This WG will focus on the FHIR Statistic Resource and the Statistic Model and Statistic Type Code Systems.
  • Risk of Bias Terminology and Tooling Work Group:
    • This replaces the ‘Risk of Bias Code System Development Steering Group’
    • This WG will focus on the Risk of Bias Code System, developing tools for supporting risk of bias assessment, and related publications.
    • Meeting time: Fridays at 9:00am to 10:00am ET
  • Computable EBM Tools Development Working Group: Refine or contribute to providing user interfaces or APIs or transformations
    • Meeting time: Mondays at 11am-12pm ET and Thursdays at 9:00am to 10:00am ET
  • Common Metadata Framework Work Group
    • This replaces the ‘Evidence Evaluation and Reporting Tools Development Work Group’
    • This WG will focus on the Common Metadata Framework.   This is a NEW project and relates to multiple developments including:
    • Unifying the pattern of metadata elements across all the EBMonFHIR-related FHIR Resources.
    • Proposing a unified pattern of metadata elements across FHIR Resources using the MetadataResource pattern
    • Coordinating these efforts with the FAIRness for FHIR project
    • Coordinating these efforts with Mobilizing Computable Biomedical Knowledge (MCBK) efforts identifying metadata categories to make CBKs FAIR and Trustable
    • Meeting time: Tuesdays at 10:00am to 11:00am ET
  • Systematic Meta-Review : Create systematic reviews of systematic reviews in FHIR format
    • Meeting times: Mondays at 9:00am to 10:00am ET

Current Project: Steroids for COVID-19 Systematic Meta-Review. There are 26 articles related to 22 systematic reviews selected for inclusion in this project.  Three major next steps are:

  1. We drafted an introductory message to contact the corresponding authors of the 22 systematic reviews and notify them about our project, ask for any data to supplement or confirm we are using their latest results, and let them know we will share the computable results with them.
  2. We identified 42 potentially relevant systematic reviews in PROSPERO and excluded 12 by title alone. We will review 28 PROSPERO entries to see if any may provided additional systematic reviews.
  3. We developed a Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for the Systematic Meta-Review as a survey instrument to apply an enhanced ROBIS-based assessment to these 22 systematic reviews. We welcome (1) your feedback if you want to review the tool and comment on improving it for this specific use, and (2) let us know if you want to join the investigator team to conduct this systematic meta-review. (If so email Joanne at
  • Knowledge Ecosystem Liaison: Liaise with other groups (e.g. ACTS, CDC ACG, COVID-END, CPGonFHIR) to coordinate with COKA efforts
    • Meeting time: Wednesdays at 8:00am to 9:00am ET
  • Communications: Increase awareness of the effort, including scholarly communication
    • Meeting time: Fridays at 10:00am to 11:00am ET

Please share your expertise through the code system development efforts. You can participate without being present at group meetings. To join an expert working group use the code system development intake form.

To be added to the COKA distribution email list to receive daily progress updates, email

Who is behind this?

Soon we should be able to answer this with a big list, derived by compiling the lists of everyone signing up for any of the project support roles noted above. As of March 27, 2020 this was an idea offered by Brian S. Alper, MD, MSPH, FAAFP, FAMIA. Ideas are derived by building on the contributions of others and this idea was developed by Dr. Alper’s roles or interactions with the following groups (in alphabetical order):

As of June 26, 2020, COKA had more than 100 working meetings with more than 40 active participants from more than 25 organizations from acedemia, industry, government, and non-profits in 7 countries.

As of August 1, 2020, Dr. Alper started Computable Publishing LLC to support standard-based machine-interpretable expression of public knowledge, especially related to healthcare and scientific evidence.

® Health Level Seven, HL7 and FHIR are registered trademarks of Health Level Seven International, registered in the U.S Trademark Office.

Email Brian Alper:

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