The EpiDeMSE project started in mid-April 2020 and even before the project started, the classical models for the spread of infectious diseases, so-called SIR or SEIR models, were extended by a team of the Fraunhofer ITWM in order to better predict the spread of Covid-19 infection. This model uses time-dependent model parameters, which are estimated from the case numbers collected and compared with additional statistical data. Thus, the effect of actions on the infection rate can be evaluated.
Temporal and Regional Simulation
The aim of the EpiDeMSE project is to simulate the spread of Covid-19 infection with this extended model in order to support local decision makers (health authorities, hospitals and municipalities) in their decisions. For this purpose, the extended model for the spread of infectious diseases will be implemented in the first project phase. It is important to prepare and simulate statistical data and spread forecasts for those regions for which the local decision makers are responsible. For this reason, the analyses in the EpiDeMSE project will be broken down in terms of time and, above all, locally - from the whole of Germany and the federal states to the individual districts and cities. Furthermore, the extended EpiDeMSE model includes people in different age groups and their interaction, which is usually not taken into account by the classical models.
In addition to the statistical analysis and the prediction of the further epidemic progress, the analysis features of the EpiDeMSE tool will be continuously refined in the following project phases. In addition to the area-resolved analyses, visualizations of the regional age structure and estimates of the number of unreported cases will be added. Thus, EpiDeMSE will not only predict the development of infections and deaths, but also provide decision-makers with a data-based assessment of the minimum and maximum case numbers to be expected. In addition, the EpiDeMSE tool visualizes how changes in infection rates affect the local situation in order to better evaluate the influence of actions. Finally, the tool also addresses the development of test strategies so that the planning of lockdown or exit strategies is supported even without statistical knowledge.