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 Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

nachricht Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Could a particle accelerator using laser-driven implosion become a reality?

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour

24.05.2018 | Health and Medicine

Complementing conventional antibiotics

24.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>