Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Program to Halt Pandemics Installed in Georgia

24.04.2006


The program has been used in DeKalb County and will be installed throughout Georgia. The program is also slated to be used in 35 other states.



Your city has 48 hours to vaccinate every man, woman and child to prevent a dangerous pandemic. Where do you put the clinics, how many health care workers will you need and how do you get 2 million people to a finite number of emergency clinics?

The logistics of handling all those panicked people, health care workers, vaccinations, clinics and forms are dizzying. And while health departments have plans in place, it’s very difficult to know how well those plans will perform when time is critical and the minutes needed to move patients to a large clinic or for a frightened patient to fill out a form could mean life or death for thousands or millions of people.


Now researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a computer program, based on a clinical model created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to help U.S. state, city and county health care departments create and test more efficient plans for treating infectious illness, whether it’s a natural or man-made outbreak.

The program, called RealOpt and created by Dr. Eva Lee, an associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will be installed over the next few months at health departments across the state of Georgia and health departments in 35 other states have plans to test the program. While the program is still in the testing phase, it will soon be available free to any government health department that requests it from Georgia Tech.

RealOpt has been tested by the DeKalb County Health Department in Georgia, and the county ran a very successful anthrax drill last year. Lee used RealOpt to help DeKalb test and improve its existing bioterror preparedness plan.

RealOpt takes the numerous variables associated with a health care department’s treatment of a very large group of people, and through large-scale simulation and optimization (even considering variables such as panic and language barriers), pinpoints the most efficient way to move patients to and through a facility. Using the program, a health care department can determine the best location for emergency clinics based on population density and road accessibility, the most efficient facility layout, the number of health care professionals needed in certain areas, the number of vaccinations needed and the time it will take to treat patients.

RealOpt can be used to prepare for a possible outbreak, as well as for emergency re-assignment of health care workers within the clinic and between clinics during an actual outbreak. By being able to assess preparedness, health departments will have more a precise estimate of the resources and funds needed to treat communities before an actual outbreak.

In addition to its role in planning, one of RealOpt’s significant advantages is its ability to process data in real time as the emergency treatment occurs. As patient flows fluctuate, the program can determine how to reallocate the facility’s resources in a fraction of a second, sending more doctors or nurses to one station or more attendants to the paperwork processing area.

“Rapid analysis of scenarios not only allows for large-scale planning and preparedness, but also allows on-the-spot optimization to maintain the best resource allocation over time,” Lee said. “As patients enter and progress through the clinic we can observe the flow and dynamically adjust the configuration as needed. This is also critical for response to catastrophic events, for example, if one treatment site collapses.”

RealOpt also includes an automated facility-layout drawing tool that allows health care workers to design and analyze their own clinic layout in response to various emergency situations, such as anthrax, smallpox, flu pandemic or natural disaster.

Lee continues to add to RealOpt’s capabilities, and is currently adding a disease propagation component to the system. The addition would help to analyze the disease’s spread within treatment sites and possible ways to halt or minimize the spread. It will also determine how to redirect patients should one center need to be quarantined or closed to prevent further spread of a disease.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s premiere research universities. Ranked ninth among U.S. News & World Report’s top public universities, Georgia Tech educates more than 17,000 students every year through its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech maintains a diverse campus and is among the nation’s top producers of women and African-American engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute. During the 2004-2005 academic year, Georgia Tech reached $357 million in new research award funding. The Institute also maintains an international presence with campuses in France and Singapore and partnerships throughout the world.

Megan McRainey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.icpa.gatech.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>