Initiatives that could mitigate the next health crisis, ranked by 73 experts


The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked various discussions about what steps should be taken to prepare for the next public health crisis. To study this, TIME, with guidance from the University of Washington Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness, polled 73 experts in late May about mitigation initiatives.

The 73 respondents, who are thought leaders in public health, infectious disease, immunology, hospital administration, data and technology, environment and climate, health inequity, supply chains and biosecurity, rated about 50 initiatives that could mitigate the next health crisis based on priority and feasibility. The initiatives were rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the top of the list. A third of the experts were outside the U.S., across 16 countries.

Here are average ratings for 10 of the strategies:

Increase investment to further future vaccine research and development

Feasibility: 4.5

Priority: 4.8

Increase global manufacturing to quickly produce vaccines at scale

Feasibility: 4.1

Priority: 4.8

Bolster the public health workforce, particularly in rural and remote regions

Feasibility: 3.4

Priority: 4.6

Implement healthcare reforms that support universal health coverage

Feasibility: 3.1

Priority: 4.5

Ensure strong, federally coordinated responses that provincial, state and local jurisdictions can rely on for guidance

Feasibility: 3.6

Priority: 4.5

Invest in standardized, automated public health records systems in countries that require improvements

Feasibility: 3.5

Priority: 4.4

Train front-line workers to screen for diseases and to prepare for emergency measures

Feasibility: 3.9

Priority: 4.4

Provide more monetary and political support to the World Health Organization

Feasibility: 3.5

Priority: 4.2

Amend global patent laws to encourage more technology sharing

Feasibility: 2.8

Priority: 4.0

Augment funding and research for artificial intelligence analytics technology

Feasibility: 3.8

Priority: 3.6

Click here to access the average scores for all initiatives in the poll, which researchers said do not in every instance indicate consensus.

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