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The Science of Pandemic Technology: Seminar Series

The Science of Pandemic Technology: Seminar Series

WeHealth is thrilled to announce the launch of a new seminar series in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute: The Science of Pandemic Technology.

Our first event is a presentation and discussion with Dr. Luca Ferretti, the lead author of a seminal study published in Science demonstrating the potential effectiveness of digital contact tracing mobile apps. He will be presenting his latest research on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19.

  • Topic: The timing of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and viral load dynamics
  • Date: Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
  • Time: 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST
  • Registration: Register for this free webinar here

Description: Understanding the timing of COVID-19 transmission is key to assess the risk of transmission in the context of both manual and digital contact tracing. Dr. Ferretti will present a detailed analysis of the risk of transmission at different times post infections, integrating data from multiple contact tracing studies. The peak of transmission is closely linked to the onset of symptoms, but the profile of pre-symptomatic infectiousness depends on the length of the incubation period. The infectiousness profile is also strongly dependent on the viral load dynamics during infections. He will present a combined model of individual viral load and infectiousness, informed by multiple datasets, with the aim to elucidate the relation between these two key aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

About the Presenter: Dr. Luca Ferretti is a Senior Researcher in Pathogen Dynamics at the Big Data Institute, University of Oxford. His research focuses on the interplay of epidemiology, genetics, evolution and within-host dynamics in HIV and other viral pathogens such as FMDV, ASF and SARS-CoV-2. He is a member of the task-force against COVID-19 of the Italian Ministry of Innovation and the Test & Trace program in the UK, and has actively supported the development of contact-tracing apps in Italy, England and Wales.


About the Seminar Series

The Science of Pandemic Technology Forum is dedicated to showcasing the latest and best available research for those working on pandemic technology. Through presentations, panel discussions, publications and other activities, this forum is primarily focused on promoting cutting-edge research that is directly relevant to digital tools that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including exposure notification mobile applications. It will contribute to establishing evidence-based best practices for pandemic technology and encourage interdisciplinary scientific discussion to help solve this global crisis.

Examples of topics to be discussed:

  • Evaluating the efficacy of digital proximity tracing and exposure notification apps
  • Protocols for establishing risk thresholds for exposure notifications 
  • Privacy-preserving ways to detect hotspots and super spreader events
  • Effective communications strategies to drive app adoption, foster public trust, and promote behavior change
  • Cost-benefit analysis of quarantine guidelines
  • Ethical frameworks for digital tools in the context of COVID-19 
  • The challenges and possibilities of using Bluetooth data for proximity tracing
  • Bridging the digital divide: Demystifying the effect of digital health tools on health disparities 
  • Microbial exposure science of modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Implications for risk assessment and prevention

Contributors to this forum include some of the leading experts in exposure science, epidemiology, virology, public health, infectious disease, Bluetooth technology, pathogen dynamics, health communications, behavioral economics, privacy, cybersecurity, and digital health innovation.

Please register here to sign up for this webinar and learn more about upcoming events.

Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs:

Joanna Masel, PhD
Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona

Jolene Elizabeth, MSc
Global Health and Strategic Partnerships at WeHealth


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