Governments, leaders, and officials need a method to enable countries to keep on living with the virus for an extended period of time.
Many predict that nations will be moving in and out of lockdown until a vaccine is introduced, which may take many more months. In the meantime, communities will need clear guidelines to proceed with absolute caution.
A new method has been devised by researchers at Northwestern University and the University at Austin. The framework published by the two universities describe a hospital data system that helps deal with these situations in a more efficient, precise and timely way.
The paper released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), outlined the new hospital data system.
The system enables, policy makers, leaders and officials to have clear and early indication of when cases are about to rise above a certain threshold. With this data, they can make informed decisions on when to implement short-term lockdowns, and minimize economic and socioeconomic fallout, as well as easing burdens on the thinly spread healthcare systems.
“Communities need to act long before hospital surges become dangerous. Hospital admissions data give an early indication of rapid pandemic growth, and tracking that data will ensure that hospitals maintain sufficient capacity,” said David Morton, research lead, professor and department chair at Northwestern University.