Recent months have seen a flurry of scientific articles relating to public health issues created by COVID-19 disease and the associated virus SARS-CoV-2. The scientific community has come together from a multitude of directions to investigate and report on many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The avalanche of publicly available studies from around the world has been unprecedented in relation to a disease that was only recently identified. This information is valuable for businesses and entrepreneurs learning more about the COVID-19 situation and planning how to respond to the pandemic with revisions to their business approaches or even entirely new business plans. The sheer number of scientific articles can, however, be overwhelming to someone trying to keep up with the latest literature in this fast-moving field.
Many businesses are working to find new solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these are applicable to multiple diseases and could be useful in a variety of medical situations in the future. Businesses are considering patent protection for the new approaches to address the current pandemic as well as new medical situations. As we have previously noted, the USPTO has a current program to provide deferred fees and early publication to provisional patent applications useful for COVID-19 relief. A business considering patent protection might want to be informed of the latest COVID-19 developments to further focus their patent application filing.
The Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness at the University of Washington includes a team of researchers who review new scientific literature related to the public health aspects of COVID-19 and post updates every weekday in the form of “COVID-19 Literature Situation Reports” or Lit Reps. The Lit Reps are prepared by a team that includes the Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness and the Strategic Analysis, Research, and Training (START) Center working with the Washington State Department of Health. These reports provide an ongoing review of scientific reports relevant to public health in the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Lit Reps focus on public health reports that are relevant to Washington State, many articles have broad applicability. The Lit Reps could be useful to anyone looking for a review of information relevant to public health aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lit Reps are posted online weekdays, with a few dozen articles reviewed per posting. Some articles are peer-reviewed and published in mainstream journals or scientific websites, others are manuscripts that are available online but have not yet gone through peer review. The Lit Reps include a section of “Key Takeaways” with brief summaries of recent articles of particular interest. The reports also include article summaries divided into topics such as “Transmission”, “Testing and Treatment”, “Vaccines and Immunity”, “Clinical Characteristics and Health Care Setting”, “Modeling and Prediction” and “Public Health Policy and Practice”. Another section includes links to “Other Resources and Commentaries”. A brief summary of each article included in the Lit Rep is included as well as a link to the full text. The Lit Rep organization makes it easier for business people to locate and quickly review articles on relevant public health topics depending on their business needs.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to create new challenges for individuals and businesses worldwide. New needs are being identified, resulting in new business approaches. The public health situation continues to evolve, resulting in many businesses looking for up-to-date information as they consider business approaches to the situation and possible patent protection around new solutions. Entrepreneurs are also looking for updates as they consider new business plans and update old ones during the pandemic. The daily Lit Reps can be a source of reliable, curated information to assist in these decisions.
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