Version 3 of covidsim.org includes additional countries & revises user interface, enabling users to model changes in reproductive number, Rt
The MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis (MRC GIDA) at Imperial College London and Bio Nano Consulting (BNC, a member of the AquAffirm Group) are pleased to announce that their digital teams have launched a new version of the covidsim.org Scenario Analysis Tool. This is a user-friendly software platform enabling government healthcare officials, public health-focused companies, and researchers to use epidemiological modelling to explore scenarios for COVID-19 transmission. A unique feature of this platform is that the model is calibrated daily to the most recent country-level data with model parameters also updated based on current state-of-the-art knowledge. Forward simulation of the COVID-19 epidemic trajectory and healthcare demand can be undertaken to explore the impact of different non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in a way that is consistent with the current epidemic state.
Since its original launch in May, the web-based tool has been available to support public health decisions in 137 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) worldwide, attracting over 50,000 users to date.
Version 3 now expands the tool to the majority of countries (including Western Europe and the United States). This new version of the tool allows the user to explore the effects of switching between intervention intensity levels by changing the value of the reproductive number, Rt. The user can specify multiple phases of intervention, each with their own Rt value, to explore the impact on the COVID-19 epidemic trajectory and healthcare demands of different levels of NPIs. The user can also plot the effective reproductive number, Reff, which accounts for the impact of immunity on transmission, in this new version.
MRC GIDA’s participation in this project was funded by the Wellcome Trust and UK Aid Direct, while BNC was supported through the COVIDaction Data Challenge, funded by UKAid.
““This tool is to support researchers and health professionals assess interventions for COVID-19. Users can consider a variety of scenarios and plan effectively with limited resources. Tools like these support the global effort to counter COVID-19” says Giovanni Charles, Senior Research Software Engineer, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London.
“The new version of covidsim will greatly help countries consider different epidemic trajectories as we move into 2021. This now includes all countries, with emerging second waves and ongoing epidemics happening across all income levels showing the need for careful planning in response to COVID-19. Lastly, we present in covidsim how much increasing population immunity has impacted the level of transmission and thus how much of current epidemic trends are due to interventions and how much is due to the level of transmission that has already occurred.”
says Oliver Watson, Research Associate, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London.
“COVID-19 continues to affect the majority of countries across the world. While we wait for the widespread roll-out of vaccines next year, epidemiological tools such as this can help users to understand the need for ongoing interventions to suppress transmission as far as possible given the local context and hence avoid overwhelming the demands that COVID-19 could place on limited healthcare.” says Azra Ghani, Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London.
“Epidemiological models are needed to assess the spread of COVID-19. They are particularly essential for lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where reliable testing data is lacking, providing a tool for predicting contagion patterns to determine the best course of action for a country’s population. The COVIDaction Data Challenge identified covidsim.org as being unique in its approach to leveraging data and evidence that will benefit LMICs. We’re excited to support the latest version of the tool on behalf of UK aid,” says Michael Klein, Theme Lead, COVIDaction Data Challenge.
“Like our other online COVID management tools such as coronatravel.world, this platform has been designed to help users understand more fully the COVID-19 pandemic. Developed in association with the excellent MRC GIDA team at Imperial College, this platform has already helped government ministries from around the world simulate future epidemic scenarios to enable them to plan, prepare for and manage the COVID-19 global pandemic more effectively. We believe this new version will help still further,” 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.
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 front-runner in developing advanced technology solutions and has taken a leading role in development of digital platforms such as covidsim.org and coronatravel.world to help address the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, please contact Dr David Sarphie on +44 (0)7771 802145 or