The C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute https://c3dti.ai/research/projects managed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UC Berkeley has selected 26 research proposals to better utilize Digital Transformation Science to mitigate COVID-19 and future pandemics. A total of $5.4 million along with access to the C3 AI Suite and Microsoft Azure computing and storage has been awarded.
Last March 2020, C3.ai in partnership with Microsoft issued a call seeking research proposals that would use advanced AI and computing technologies to illuminate the coronavirus pandemic. The goal for researchers is to provide well-informed, scientifically grounded, data-driven conclusions from empirical data so that policy makers can make better decisions.
One of the 26 projects called Modeling the Impact of Social Determinants of Health on COVID-19 Transmission and Mortality to Understand Health Inequities was awarded to the University of Chicago.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted drastic health inequities which are particularly pronounced in Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, and New York City. It is therefore important to have a better understanding of how factors such as financial hardship, housing instability, healthcare access, and incarceration contribute to COVID-19 transmission and mortality. More is needed to know about how to inform policies around social distancing, testing, and vaccination scale-up.
This award to the University of Chicago will build upon an existing agent-based model of COVID-19 transmission referred to as “CityCOVID” which was done for the city of Chicago. The researchers will use multiple sources of existing data, including local COVID-19 contact tracing surveys and public health surveillance.
Researchers will apply machine learning methods to quantify the impact of social determinants of health on COVID-19 transmission dynamics. Researchers will then evaluate intervention approaches. The extended CityCOVID model will provide a more realistic model on how to guide local policy and intervention development.