Based on the current pandemic situation uncertainty is rapidly growing as we are facing a phenomenon across all nations that we have never seen before. Even those experts who have a proven track record in the relevant disciplines such as virology or epidemiology are chasing a needle in a haystack and running a race against time in order to save the lives of many as thousands of people have died in COVID-19 so far. Also, this coronavirus has a tremendous influence on the economy, society, and the lives of hardworking everyday people such as healthcare workers, teachers, manufactures, etc.
The main objective of our project called EUGLOH-Flatten Forecasting is to bring safety to the table across all nations and especially in the European Union. We are developing a complex mathematical modeling system to forecast epidemics for governments in order to foster and test intervention strategies. Our dedicated team from Szeged (HU) is currently conducting research in the field of epidemic forecasting based on complex mathematical modeling methods and we have designated knowledge on how to forecast the spread of certain infectious diseases. Built on the outcomes we identify the best possible intervention strategies for mainly governmental bodies in order to create meaningful regulation for the society and the economy as well.
We have decided to team up for humanity under the name of the European University Alliance for Global Health (called EUGLOH) which is is a strategic partnership between the Université Paris-Saclay (UPSaclay), Lund University (LU), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Universidade do Porto (UPorto) and the University of Szeged (USZ) in the context of the European Commission’s European Universities Initiative. We truly believe that we can only overcome such a pandemic situation if we are united under the European principles.
We are more than pleased to have the opportunity to fight against the virus within the current hackathon and we are warmly welcome our mentor and coordinator who can sign up for our public Slack channel in the following link:
Flatten Forecasting Pandemics
- The problem your project solves
The world was not prepared for COVID 19. We were all shocked by the difficulties in these months. Each country is following a different script during crisis management.
The whole society is in fear. The people are uncertain because of losing their jobs, freedom, and their family members.
Nobody knows how to reset the world. Decisions have to be made on restoring the economy and pre-crisis life. The governments and companies don't know what is the most responsible exit strategy in order to achieve the optimal balance between stabilising the economy and flattening the epidemic curve. It is hard to predict the effect of the decisions.
- The solution you bring to the table
We are epidemic researchers. We published an article on 19 February forecasting the COVID 19 outbreaks in Europe before the virus reached here, and the history validated our estimations.
Our publication is currently the most read article in the journal's history, see tab "Most viewed" here link. Flatten Forecasting is our brand providing cutting edge framework, FlatSystems, using AI and mathematical modelling in order to predict the course of the epidemic in the short term and investigate the trends, such as the effect of interventions in the long term.
To produce accurate predictions FlatSystems use the following data:
- aggregated cellular information based on traffic data between districts in a country and states in the whole EU,
- it can also incorporate the age structure of the population and
- the connections between the age groups.
Based on high-quality real-time data we give personalised predictions of the epidemic curve with our simulations.
- What you have done during the weekend
During this weekend we were working on extending our model to the scale of the EU so we can support governmental decisions in the current phase when the world has to be restarted. We can show how certain acts for releasing the lockdown affect the course of the epidemic.
The FlatSystems is written in python programming language using its visualisation tools. We built up the data structure of the model. This way we exactly know what we need in order to proceed with scaling up our framework. Basically we prepared the FlatSystems for upscaling, stabilised the simulation capabilities, and created a frontend for communication of our results.
Moreover, we created integrity in our project including design and social media profile (www.facebook.com/FlattenForecasting). We focused on front-end development, backend integration, and the visual content of the FlatBoard. The FlatBoard will be our channel to communicate our analysis.
- The solution’s impact on the crisis
Our aim is to work together with the decision-makers, governments and companies in the EU and provide them the best quality decision supporting framework.
The FlatSystem is capable of forecasting the effect of your decisions on the epidemic curve. Based on these predictions and the analyses we can create the governments can save lives, protect the healthcare system from crashing and keep the economy alive.
We truly believe that a harmonized strategy within the EU can result in a highly optimized management of the crisis that leads to a better distribution of financial resources in each country.
- The necessities in order to continue the project
For further improvement in forecasting, we need high-quality data. We also would like to create a secure environment for the data traffic between us and our future partners. To this end we have to finance 6 full-time developers upon our group of 3 for continuous operation, building our AI algorithms and delivering fast personalised reports, feasibility studies, and impact analyses.
- The value of your solution(s) after the crisis
First, our framework fits not only for COVID 19 but for any epidemic in the future inside or outside Europe. Moreover, there is a need to process the experiences during the crisis. We can ensure the proper use of the data piled up in this period and prepare high-quality analyses for a future pandemic, and social research. Being a partner with the EU we can continuously provide risk assessments, forecasts, and reports. Looking into the future is not magic. Science can help us out to double-check our decisions before it is too late. This way we may save lives and save the economy.