By Ian Allen
Camber was founded to empower leaders with the high-quality data and insights they need to build a safer and more equitable world. Whatever else can be said of 2020, it was a year of opportunities to do just this. Working with universities, cities, states, and medical centers, we were honored to be able to help those on the front lines meet the most pressing public health challenge of our time.
As one of the founding members of the COVID-19 Tech Task Force, we were fortunate to be part of a remarkable consortium of companies working together to provide distance learning, telehealth, exposure notifications, disease surveillance, and more. In addition, Camber partnered with the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network, CrisisReady, and leading researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health to build privacy forward data systems that can provide high-quality statistical insights while protecting civil liberties.
Our role in this effort was to help public health officials understand the efficacy of nonclinical interventions. This kind of analysis was – and continues to be – essential to managing school and business closures and openings. With these insights, policymakers are armed with a scalpel rather than a broadsword, dialing interventions up and down rather than on and off, thus saving both lives and livelihoods.
One of the great lessons of this work was this: city and state governments are still inundated with disparate, incomplete, inaccurate, and conflicting data streams and inadequate data infrastructure. To solve this, Camber worked across academia, city governments, and state agencies to build a rapidly deployable, production-ready, and portable data system that helps customers understand their data, expand their context, and build models for near real-time feedback.
But there was also a greater lesson: cities, states, and the federal government have many great public entrepreneurs who are focused every day on improving lives and building a better future. With 2020 behind us, Camber is honored to continue our work with these dedicated public servants to meet the challenges and opportunities of 2021.
Through our partnerships with Harvard and others, we are on the leading edge of public health technology and the emerging scientific consensus around COVID-19. Our work has been covered in The New Yorker and Harvard Business Review.
We’ve also applied our work to wildfire analyses and hurricane responses, uncovering shelter trends and gender disparity through our work with CrisisReady. From government to academia to nonprofits, we have been working to understand how to help deliver rapid and equitable services to constituents across demographics and regions.