CIDACS- an innovative health data collection technology in Salvador, Brazil

Today, my classmates and I visited a different campus – the CIDACS campus. The primary focus within this building was data collection. Our lecture was led by Dr. Mauricio Barreto, who is a well-known epidemiologist that focuses on determinants of health and health inequalities, along with the effects of social and health interventions on health. 

In 2016, Dr. Barreot co-founded CIDACS which is Center for Data Integration and Knowledge for Health. We learned that this is the largest health data collection in Brazil housing cohorts of over 100 million Brazilians. The primary goal of the data collection is to create a safe, concrete foundation for innovative studies and research that may have new investigative methodologies as well as improve scientific and professional training. Studies and research are centered around investigating the role of social protection programs on environmental and social determinants of population health. Some covered topics are such “The impact of a governmental cash transfer programme on tuberculosis cure rate in Brazil: A quasi-experimental approach”, “Effect of Brazil’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme on the new case detection rate of leprosy in children under 15 years old”, and “On the Accuracy and Scalability of Probabilistic Data Linkage Over the Brazilian 114 Million Cohort”. 

Learning about this “big data” was very impressive because this shows the zeal for many countries like Brazil to want to be the driver of investigating ways to improve the health of the population. CIDACS seems comparable to strong data collection in places like the U.S., U.K., and other technologically advanced countries. The work that is being done in Brazil can be represented as a model for countries that may not have anything in place due to lack of resources and/or other issues.