University helps supply Covid-19 data in partnership with IBM

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Durham University’s 7-year partnership with global technology company, IBM, has allowed the University to support regional health services in their response to Covid-19 by providing necessary data.

A team led by Dr Camila Caiado, from the department of Mathematical Sciences, and Professor Brian Castellani, from the Department of Sociology, has been applying its statistical modelling expertise to make predictions to support local NHS Trusts and councils in their planning for the pandemic. 

With a current average of 631.1 active cases per 100,000 people tested in County Durham, the information has been used to help local healthcare organisations monitor the spread of the virus.

The statistics used for predictive modelling were collected from a variety of reliable sources, including the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England. The data can also be used to allow hospitals to plan for critical care capacity and to explore effectiveness of treatments for differing groups of patients.

IBM was able to host a data dashboard on their servers after just 24 hours. This gave NHS Trusts and councils in the North East secure and convenient access to the University’s pandemic modelling. 

The multi-national technology company is one of the University’s longest global corporate partners. On top of this collaboration, the seven year partnership has supported wider outreach, as well as research, teaching and learning.

Alongside strategic partnerships with other household names, such as Procter and Gamble, the University works closely with local organisations, including Durham County Council, Northumbrian Water, and online banking company, Atom Bank.

Current average of 631.1 active cases per 100,000 people tested in County Durham.

IBM itself has partnerships with a further 17 UK universities.

The University’s work with IBM builds on other work in Durham as part of the fight against Covid-19. In May, a Durham-backed project received a Government grant of £500,000 to find out whether trained dogs could be used to rapidly detect the virus.

In addition to research, students at the University have contributed to the local area through volunteering, including collecting donations from the local area through the Green Move Out.

In the past few weeks, the University has explained how it plans to re-open its buildings in anticipation for the next academic year, implementing a ‘5 tests’ model to minimise the risk of transmission. Further announcements are expected in the next week.

Image: Emphyrio via Pixabay

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