geoEpi – new DFG research project on spatio-temporal epidemiology of emerging viruses

A couple of viruses are of global interest with respect to human health and well-being. These pathogens include the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, Dengue, Chikungunya, Yellow fever, Zika and Ebola. These viruses show interesting spatio-temporal dynamics. Improved understanding of the driving and moderating factors will help to cope with these pathogens.

The recently funded new project geoEpi (formally entitled Spatio-temporal epidemiology of emerging viruses — leveraging crowdsourced data and occurrence data to improve early disease detection systems) aims at revealing those driving and moderating factors. The team consists of GIScience Heidelberg under involvement of HeiGIT, the Heidelberg Institute for Global Health (HIGH) and the Geo-social Analytics Lab, Z_GIS Salzburg. The project has been funded by DACH and will start in June and will run for three years.

The project intends to use social media and web search data together with official health surveillance data to develop novel algorithms to achieve higher information quality to generate more reliable conclusions and more accurate predictions about the spatio-temporal spread of diseases. Major innovations of the project are:

  1. the inclusion of the temporal dimension into spatial epidemiology,
  2. the use of crowdsourced data in combination with official health surveillance data for fine scale monitoring disease dispersal,
  3. the inclusion of mobility/urban demographic and environmental covariates to derive ‘socio-ecological corridors’ that describe likely routes of disease spread after initial outbreaks, and
  4. the development of ML algorithms to deal with the massive amounts of crowdsourced data and to complement and to improve rule- /model-based approaches.
Further information will be provided at the project page.
Related work at GIScience HD
Comments are closed.