March 31st, 2022
Welcome to Issue 4 of the PANDEM-2 Newsletter!
We’re delighted to bring you our fourth project newsletter highlighting the ongoing activites over the past three months. In this issue, we bring you the latest project results including the launch of the first version of the ‘pandem-source’ tool, a major milestone for the PANDEM-2 project. Thank you and congratulations to our partners who continue to work towards one of our core objectives: to integrate pandemic data into a coherent database and develop an extensible dashboard for preparedness training and response execution.
As well as this, you will find the latest news from the pandemic management industry, interesting publications and upcoming events and updates from our sister projects in the PREPARE cluster.
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 newsletter to them and encourage them to subscribe via our website.
The PANDEM-2 Team
Project News: Launch of Pandem-Source V1.0.0
PANDEM-2 partners are delighted to announce the first release of Pandem-Source, our real-time tool for the integration, collection and standardisation of key pandemic data across Europe
Pandem-Source is an IT solution that will support the specific needs of pandemic managers across the EU by facilitating an efficient and effective response to future pandemics. Led by partners Epiconcept, UCLouvain, Clarisoft and NUIG with contributions from end-users RIVM, RKI and THL.
The open-source tool will enable the integration of real-time pandemic-relevant data from international systems (Go.Data outputs, EWRS, TESSy, etc.), participative surveillance (Influenzanet, Studybugs, etc.), from the laboratory (next-generation sequencing) systems and social media (Twitter, Reddit). This data is accessible and can be systematically analysed via an online dashboard, designed and built to support the specific needs of pandemic managers; public health agencies, epidemiological departments and international organisations such as the ECDC or WHO.
With this new prototype, key workers in pandemic management will be able to coordinate the data of public health agencies in one location. Through its routine collection of real-time data from traditional and non-traditional surveillance, users can overview case numbers, incidents, death rates, vaccination breakdown and more. The tool is open-source, easy to install and is customisable based on user needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated all too quickly the vulnerabilities in our capacity to prepare for and respond to pandemics within the EU Member States. Pandem-Source will provide a cross-border system to implement a harmonised EU-wide response. Its flexibility will support the specific needs of pandemic managers across the EU by answering the challenge of quick adaption and facilitating an efficient and effective response to future pandemics as a result.
Pandem-Source is available and ready to use for all interested stakeholders here. We encourage you to explore and test its features and all feedback is welcomed. A comprehensive video overview from creators Epiconcept can be viewed here.
Congratulations to all partners involved for this amazing achievement and for taking Europe one step closer to better pandemic preparedness. We look forward to seeing how the tool is implemented. Below you’ll find some screenshots of it in action.
UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science
We were delighted to showcase the incredible females working across PANDEM-2 on the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th. PANDEM-2 is made up of so many women working in technical backgrounds such as epidemiology, medicine, software development, data science, computer science and more. To mark this special day, we heard from some of the talented members of the PANDEM-2 team on their work, and what makes it so important to them. You can read the full interviews from each partner here >>
ECDC On Air: A Podcast on European Epidemiology
A peek behind the scenes at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – the EU agency that aims to identify, assess and communicate current and emerging threats to human health posed by infectious diseases in Europe. Updated bi-weekly, you can listen to the podcast on all major streaming platforms or through their YouTube channel here.
Article: Riding the Twitter Wave
Enthusiasm for the social media platform changed science communication during the pandemic – but will it last?
As more researchers turn to Twitter to communicate with colleagues and the public, Jeffrey Brainard from Science looks at the relationship between the Twittersphere and the communication of the Covid-19 pandemic including the advantages and limitations it has on the public’s understanding and response of the research community’s work. Read it here.
In The Media
POPULATION HEALTH & INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Last December, PANDEM-2 Co-Ordinator Prof. Máire Connolly of NUIG spoke to Johnathan Smith from Horizon (The EU Research and Innovation Magazine) for a Q&A about the possibility of a future pandemic and what we can do to guard against it. With the recent spread of the Omicron BA.2 subvariant which has led to widespread transmission in the community and in health care settings, the information provided could not be of more relevance and is a reminder of the importance of fostering the lessons we are learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Find the full article and a video summary below.
In more recent news, Prof. Connolly also spoke to Loveday Morris and Dan Diamond from The Washington Post in relation to the devastating war in Ukraine and the potential this has to “spark surges of covid, poleo and other diseases”. The crisis is a double-edged sword and one is the issue of viruses and bacteria which will exploit the environment created by the movement of millions of refugees across land. Read on to find out more. pandemic. Find the full article and a video summary below.
SPOTLIGHT ON PREPARE
PANDEM-2 is proud to be part of the PREPARE cluster (PREparedness and ResPonse for Emergency SituAtions in EuRopE); ten EU H2020 projects that come together to tackle the challenges in pandemic preparedness and response with the aim to achieve stronger results and greater impact for our cause. Read on to find out the latest results and activities from our sister projects.
PHIRI, the Population Health Information Research Infrastructure, is implementing a research infrastructure to facilitate and generate the best available evidence for research on health and well-being of populations as impacted by COVID-19. Since its start in November 2020, the PHIRI partners have been working relentlessly to deliver the outcomes that were promised to the European research community and policymakers. At this event. they will present to you the main achievements and developments of the project since it’s inception, ranging from the launch of the Health Information Portal, a one-stop shop to access health & healthcare data in Europe, to the Rapid Exchange Forum, answering urgent research and policy questions on COVID-19, and much more.
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.