There have been other pandemics that have been experienced globally before the coming of COVID-19. Also, it isn’t the only the headache the world is battling since there are other problems. For instance, drug-resistant illnesses and environmental degradation are other examples of disasters experienced globally. COVID-19 is gaining special attention due to its nature of rapid multiplication and spread.
Since the information gathering process is still ongoing, the current academic and scientific research cannot respond quickly to disasters like these. However, some ways can be used in overcoming this problem. For example, crowdsourcing is one best method that can be applied to boost biomedical research and development (R&D) and could provide results to tackle pandemics such as COVID-19.
Several promising responses to COVID-19 are ongoing, and several potential vaccines are undergoing various stages of development. However, there is no certainty that they will be successful after their development. Besides, the R&D under usage may not be adequate to inhibit this pandemic in the expected time.
Moving activities out of the already profitable and promising research can be the best way to end the pandemic. Moreover, for this to happen the scale of fighting the pandemic must be higher as compared to the extent of the outbreak. A profound reconstitution of the enticement of the biomedical research industry may be essential in shifting the activity from its usual profit-making into vaccine research.
Most academic research has provided suggestions on how this can be conducted. Typically, problems such as COVID-19 are always thoroughly researched to increase the probability of success in finding a cure or vaccine. For the process to be successful, new methods and technologies such as information science, biomedical crowdsourcing, and machine learning are essential.
These novel technologies have already shown their efficiency in biomedical research but not at the levels required to fight this pandemic. Crowdsourcing examples such as gamification where complicated biomedical problems are used as a basis for computer games to solve problems can be applied in such instances to help in managing this pandemic. Additionally, FOLDIt is effectively using proteins folding sets to solve problems similar to this.
Societal benefit ratio is also another meaningful way of thinking about crowdsourcing. It is the ratio of research and the efforts put into solving a problem that produces outcomes to the same problem. However, such issues do not always receive adequate problem-solving resources. For it to be addressed, the scale of investment should be equal to the magnitude of the problem.
How crowdsourcing operates
Technological advancements have made it easier to crowdsource solutions to biomedical problems. This is a problem-solving method that relies on putting data online as an open call for any person to solve it. A site such as InnoCentive always offers such platforms in solving their problems. Furthermore, InnoCentive has documented several successes by employing crowdsourcing in biomedical research.
It is also a cheaper and faster way of solving scientific problems as compared to relying on R&D departments. Governments should therefore come together and employ crowdsourcing to help fight this pandemic. Furthermore, crowdsourcing can be the best platform to be used by researchers to test the effectiveness in solving large scale problems such as COVID-19.
What do established biomedical firms like Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) think of this approach to solving major health challenges? One can only wonder!
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