Mitigating an Influenza Pandemic in Real Time

Faculty at the University of South Florida has developed a simulation-based tool to find the optimal way to mitigate the impact of an influenza pandemic across multiple regions. It considers multiple mitigation strategies, including vaccination, antivirals, voluntary quarantines, and social distancing. A key feature is that it can be used in real-time as a pandemic progresses. From the article:

(a) the model is capable of re-allocating resources remaining from the previous allocations and thus achieves a more efficient resource utilization; (b) the model incorporates the costs of the resources and aims to allocate a total available budget, as opposed to allocating available quantities of individual resources, which vary in their relative cost and effectiveness.

Snapshot of the decision-aid simulation GUI

Snapshot of the decision-aid simulation GUI

The complete citation is Andrés Uribe-Sánchez, Alex Savachkin, Alfredo Santana, Diana Prieto-Santa and Tapas K. Das, A predictive decision-aid methodology for dynamic mitigation of influenza pandemics, OR Spectrum, Volume 33, Number 3, 751-786, DOI: 10.1007/s00291-011-0249-0

Presentations at SNS Summit

The experts from the Montgomery County, Maryland, Advanced Practice Center will be presenting their tools in two interactive sessions at the SNS Summit, which is July 26-28, 2011, in Atlanta.

The first (on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 3:15 P.M.) will feature eMedCheck in a session on Electronic Screening Tools for PODS along with Johnson County, Kansas Health Department and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. These tools are for screening and registration.

The second (on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, at 10:30 A.M.) is titled “America’s Top Model and Training Day All in One: Improving mass prophylaxis operations with just-in-time training and computer models.” The Multnomah County, Oregon, APC will be also participate. The session will discuss the Clinic Planning Model Generator and
the principles of the I-JITT Model and the application of I-JITT to mass prophylaxis operations via use of a
toolkit.

Catch-up Immunization Scheduler

At the INFORMS conference I attended a talk about the Catch-up Immunization Scheduler for children six years of age and younger at the conference I just attended. The talk, by Hannah Smalley and Pinar Keskinocak (both from Georgia Tech), was a finalist for the INFORMS Daniel H. Wagner Prize, which recognizes excellence in the practice of operations research.

This tool, available from the CDC, helps parents and pediatricians quickly figure out what to do when a child is no longer on the recommended vaccination schedule. (There are also versions for older children and for adults.) Essentially, given the child’s vaccination history and current age, the tool determines, based on national vaccination guidelines, which vaccinations the child still needs, and when they should be given.

The tool uses a vaccine library that facilitates updates when guidelines change. The problem of finding the optimal catch-up schedule is extremely difficult; the tool uses a algorithm that finds a high-quality solution quickly.

RealOpt-Regional webinar on September 29, 2010

The CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile is sponsoring a webinar about the RealOpt-Regional© emergency response system developed by researchers at Georgia Tech. According to the website, the system “is an interactive, online software tool to aid in apportioning and dispensing medical countermeasures.”

The webinar is Wednesday, September 29, 2010, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

To register, visit the webinar registration page.

SNS TourSolver webinar

SNS TourSolver is a vehicle routing application developed to help public health officials plan for the distribution of medication in a public health emergency.

The Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) at CDC will be hosting a webinar on the new version of SNS TourSolver. The webinar will be at 2 PM EDT on June 10, 2010, and should last about 25 minutes.

According to CDC:

The new version has been tailored to reflect the unique distribution requirements of an SNS response, and including dramatic improvements to increase the ease of use.

For more information, contact Rick Pietz at eoj3@CDC.GOV.