A Division of AquAffirm

London, UK

COVID-19 Response

Bio Nano Consulting  (a member of the AquAffirm Group) and MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC GIDA) at Imperial College London are pleased to announce that their digital teams have  collaborated to address the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic through development of the covidsim.org Scenario Analysis Tool, a user-friendly software platform enabling government healthcare officials, public health-focused companies and researchers from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to deploy advanced epidemiological prediction tools. The web-based tool will inform public health decisions concerning intervention/restriction strategies. The website downloads the most up-to-date model parameters and historical data to enable simulation of the COVID-19 epidemic trajectory and healthcare demand with and without interventions/government restrictions (e.g. control measures such as social distancing, lockdown orders).

Using MRC GIDA’s open-source epidemic modelling code as a basis, the teams collaborated to develop the interface design, coded the original model into JavaScript, and conducted comprehensive testing to deliver an operational website in under four weeks. BNC will continue to maintain the site, handle site updates and monitor/address issues and questions from global users. This work was funded by the Wellcome Trust and UK Aid Direct, part of the Department for International Development (DFID).

“This is a tool for researchers and health professionals to assess interventions for COVID-19. It provides clear and intuitive access to our latest models and data. Users can configure healthcare capacities and interventions and see the projected impact on their population’s health and the demand of their healthcare system. The responsive interface and outputs allow users to consider a variety of scenarios. This tool will support the effort in low- and middle-income countries to plan effective countermeasures to COVID-19” says Giovanni Charles, Senior Research Software Engineer, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London.

“The covidsim.org Scenario Analysis Tool is a key planning tool for low- and middle-income countries as they consider how best to manage their response to COVID-19. The interface has been flexibly designed, which allows the modelling team at Imperial to easily integrate both the output of our extensive model fitting to the COVID-19 pandemic in each country and incorporate new changes to the model as more data become available. It is these features that I think will greatly aid countries in their planning, highlighting clearly the impact of their interventions to date in slowing the development of COVID-19″ says Oliver Watson, Research Associate,  MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London.

“All countries have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is those living in the lowest-income settings that are likely to be hardest hit. By making these tools available, countries with more limited resources can compare the outputs from epidemiological projections with the wider effects that interventions may have on their population to help to design locally-appropriate responses that maximise health and well-being” says Azra Ghani, Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London.

This epidemic trajectory simulation tool could help government lockdown exit strategies and de-escalation plans. ‘Our online management tools have been designed to help government healthcare officials, strategic planners, and academic researchers to model, plan, prepare for and manage the COVID-19 global pandemic more effectively’, says David Sarphie, CEO of Bio Nano Consulting.

About the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC GIDA)

MRC GIDA is an international resource and centre of excellence for research and capacity building on the epidemiological analysis and modelling of infectious diseases. The Centre undertakes applied collaborative work with national and international agencies to provide response to emerging threats with real-time analysis and predictive modelling, and timely evidence-based input to urgent policy questions for major endemic diseases.

About Bio Nano Consulting

Bio Nano Consulting (BNC) is a best-in-class technology and strategic consultancy focusing at the interface between bio-, nano-, and digital technologies, providing project management, product development and strategic consultancy to a range of international clients from industry, academia and government. BNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of AquAffirm Ltd.

About AquAffirm

AquAffirm is a London-based product development company commercialising technologies to address global biomedical and environmental issues. Offering both hardware and digital solutions, the company is focused on tackling some of the world’s most intractable problems. With a world class board comprising a PowderJect co-founder (Dr David Sarphie, CEO), a co-inventor of the blood glucose test (Prof Tony Cass FRSC of Imperial College), a world-renowned microwave engineer and physicist (Prof Gabriel Aeppli FRS of ETH in Switzerland) and an internationally-recognised former director of large UK laboratories (Prof John Wood FREng), AquAffirm is a leader in developing advanced technology solutions.

For more information, please contact Dr David Sarphie on +44 (0)7771 802145 or

e-mail: david.sarphie@bio-nano-consulting.com

 

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