Augmenting Epidemiological Models with Point-Of-Care Diagnostics Data.


Although adoption of newer Point-of-Care (POC) diagnostics is increasing, there is a significant challenge using POC diagnostics data to improve epidemiological models. In this work, we propose a method to process zip-code level POC datasets and apply these processed data to calibrate an epidemiological model. We specifically develop a calibration algorithm using simulated annealing and calibrate a parsimonious equation-based model of modified Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) dynamics. The results show that parsimonious models are remarkably effective in predicting the dynamics observed in the number of infected patients and our calibration algorithm is sufficiently capable of predicting peak loads observed in POC diagnostics data while staying within reasonable and empirical parameter ranges reported in the literature. Additionally, we explore the future use of the calibrated values by testing the correlation between peak load and population density from Census data. Our results show that linearity assumptions for the relationships among various factors can be misleading, therefore further data sources and analysis are needed to identify relationships between additional parameters and existing calibrated ones. Calibration approaches such as ours can determine the values of newly added parameters along with existing ones and enable policy-makers to make better multi-scale decisions.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153769

Cite this paper

@article{zmen2016AugmentingEM, title={Augmenting Epidemiological Models with Point-Of-Care Diagnostics Data.}, author={{\"{O}zg{\"{u}r {\"{O}zmen and Laura L. Pullum and Arvind Ramanathan and James J. Nutaro}, journal={PloS one}, year={2016}, volume={11 4}, pages={e0153769} }