December 16, 2021
Welcome to Issue 3 of the PANDEM-2 Newsletter!
We’re delighted to issue our third and final newsletter of this year which outlines what has been happening in the project in recent months as well as news from the pandemic management sector. With the introduction of the Omicron variant in the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, European responses have varied from country to country to help curb its spread, as well as vaccination rates and methods of preparedness and prevention. All this and more are discussed in this issue.
PANDEM-2 is an EU-funded H2020 project that aims to develop new solutions for efficient, EU-wide pandemic management. Its goal is to prepare Europe for future pandemics through innovations in training and to build cross-border response capacity between EU member states.
If you have colleagues or friends who may be interested in the content of our newsletter, or the research carried out by PANDEM-2, please forward this to them and encourage them to subscribe via our website.
We wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
The PANDEM-2 Team
WHO Agree to Develop Global Accord on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response
Medical device company, Medtronic has pledged to support research into ventilator supply chains and pandemic preparedness. They will provide funding for a collaborative project led by PANDEM-2 partners NUI Galway titled ‘Pandemic preparedness: Strengthening procurement and supply chain methods for ventilators and respiratory support devices’.
The Medtronic-supported project will analyse the performance of ventilator supply chains during the current pandemic. Using learnings identified during the course of the PANDEM-2 project, it will also develop tools to enhance supply chain resilience for health emergencies to come.
PANDEM-2 partners NUI Galway & Medtronic Join Forces to Support Pandemic Preparedness Research
During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have taken varied approaches to protect the health of their citizens, highlighting vulnerabilities in the world’s current response to health emergencies. On December 1st, 2021, the World Health Assembly agreed to begin work on an international instrument that would eliminate this fragmented response to future pandemics, instead unifying and strengthening the global approach to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. The new agreement will be incorporated into the World Health Organization’s Constitution, making it a core part of our global health architecture.
The new instrument will promote a more robust and co-ordinated way of preventing and managing pandemics in future generations, incorporating the experiences and learnings that have been encountered during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
ESCAIDE 2021: Summary
PANDEM-2 partners took part in ESCAIDE 2021 (European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology) which was held virtually from the 16th – 19th November. This is a milestone annual conference proving the latest research in all areas related to infectious disease prevention and control, including epidemiology, public health microbiology, surveillance, and the application of tools and methods to support infectious disease outbreaks or interventions.
PANDEM-2 was delighted to showcase the work of the project through a virtual stand which is still available to view here. If you missed the conference or would like to recap the discussions, you can also read a summary of each day here.
On February 3rd and 4th, the PANDEM-2 project officially kicked off. The Kick Off meeting was held remotely due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting involved an introduction from all partners presenting their PANDEM-2 team, their institutes capabilities, and roles within the project. read more >>
User Requirements Workshops
PANDEM-2 kicked off in February 2021 and since then our valued end-users have been providing guidance to our experts from NUI Galway, Epiconcept and Clarisoft in order to develop an extensible dashboard for pandemic preparedness training and response execution. read more >>
They say there is strength numbers, and this is no different when it comes to H2020 projects. Projects such like PANDEM-2 are part of the European Commission initiative to ensure that the response to ongoing and future crises are improved and that we are better prepared for future health and security crises. read more >>
In The Media
POPULATION HEALTH & INFECTIOUS DISEASES
In November, Public Health Expert and PANDEM-2 coordinator Prof. Máire Connolly spoke to Jonathan McCrea from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway for their Leading Minds podcast. Máire explains the nature of PANDEM-2 research and the types of public health data it will address in the project’s EU-wide tools and training. Additionally, she discusses the evolution of recent respiratory vector-borne diseases and the importance of trust in communicating public health advice.
Research & Publications
A Bayesian approach to calibrate system dynamics models using Hamiltonian Monte Carlo
A recent publication authored by Jair Andrade and Prof. Jim Duggan from, PANDEM-2 partner, NUI Galway explores an interesting project finding on system dynamic modeling. The publication introduces Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC), an efficient algorithm that outperforms random-walk methods in exploring complex parameter spaces. HMC is applied to calibrate an SEIR model and frame the process within a practical workflow. You can read the paper in full here.
13 COVID-X Data and AI Solutions Supporting Healthcare Providers To Defeat Coronavirus And Save Lives within the COVID-X Programme
Fellow H2020 and PREPARE cluster project COVID-X recently announced the selected candidates of the 2nd open call within their acceleration programme. Supported by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 Programme, the project runs a unique 10-month acceleration program for close-to-market data and AI-driven solutions boosting their market uptake to support healthcare systems and to save lives of coronavirus patients. Open Call #2, closing on the 15th of September attracted applications from a varied range of Start-Ups and SMEs around Europe. View the list of candidates here.
PANDEM-2 is one of twelve EU-funded H2020 projects that focus on health or pandemic-related crisis management which came together to form the PREPARE Cluster, others include STRATEGY, NOFEAR, PERISCOPE, CO-VERSATILE, COVID-X, PHIRI, EUR3KA and STAMINA, LINKS and RiskPACC. The goal of the cluster is to explore synergies, research opportunities and collaborations that will help strengthen Europe’s preparedness for future health crises.
End User Blog Series
COVID-19 from an academic hospital’s perspective
On February 27, 2020, the first patient with a SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in the Netherlands. Subsequently, the number of infected people and hospital admissions in the Netherlands increased rapidly, also at Radboudumc. Read more >>
INEM – Proud Partner of PANDEM-2
On January the 24th of 2020, the first COVID-19 Outbreak Management Team (OMT) was convened at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), marking the start of a very intense period of work for public health professionals in the Netherlands. Read More >>
FRONT LINE OF THE FIGHT
The role of INEM – the Portuguese National Emergency Medicine Institute – in the current COVID-19 pandemic has been very diverse. INEM was involved in the Portuguese national response. Read More
Partner Video Series
PANDEM-2 has many fantastic partners working to ensure Europe is better prepared for the next pandemic. Below is a sample of some of the amazing consortium members. Click on the images to bring you to the videos.