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J Biomed Inform ; 119: 103818, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237740


OBJECTIVE: Study the impact of local policies on near-future hospitalization and mortality rates. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We introduce a novel risk-stratified SIR-HCD model that introduces new variables to model the dynamics of low-contact (e.g., work from home) and high-contact (e.g., work on-site) subpopulations while sharing parameters to control their respective R0(t) over time. We test our model on data of daily reported hospitalizations and cumulative mortality of COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas, from May 1, 2020, until October 4, 2020, collected from multiple sources (USA FACTS, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council COVID-19 report, TMC daily news, and Johns Hopkins University county-level mortality reporting). RESULTS: We evaluated our model's forecasting accuracy in Harris County, TX (the most populated county in the Greater Houston area) during Phase-I and Phase-II reopening. Not only does our model outperform other competing models, but it also supports counterfactual analysis to simulate the impact of future policies in a local setting, which is unique among existing approaches. DISCUSSION: Mortality and hospitalization rates are significantly impacted by local quarantine and reopening policies. Existing models do not directly account for the effect of these policies on infection, hospitalization, and death rates in an explicit and explainable manner. Our work is an attempt to improve prediction of these trends by incorporating this information into the model, thus supporting decision-making. CONCLUSION: Our work is a timely effort to attempt to model the dynamics of pandemics under the influence of local policies.

COVID-19 , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 27(11): 1721-1726, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024117


Global pandemics call for large and diverse healthcare data to study various risk factors, treatment options, and disease progression patterns. Despite the enormous efforts of many large data consortium initiatives, scientific community still lacks a secure and privacy-preserving infrastructure to support auditable data sharing and facilitate automated and legally compliant federated analysis on an international scale. Existing health informatics systems do not incorporate the latest progress in modern security and federated machine learning algorithms, which are poised to offer solutions. An international group of passionate researchers came together with a joint mission to solve the problem with our finest models and tools. The SCOR Consortium has developed a ready-to-deploy secure infrastructure using world-class privacy and security technologies to reconcile the privacy/utility conflicts. We hope our effort will make a change and accelerate research in future pandemics with broad and diverse samples on an international scale.

Biomedical Research , Computer Security , Coronavirus Infections , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Privacy , COVID-19 , Humans , Information Dissemination/ethics , Internationality , Machine Learning