UiO researchers will use mobile data to predict the spread of infection

Youth with mobile phoneYouth with mobile phone.Photo: Ulf Nygaard / NTB scanpix

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Researchers at the University of Oslo (UiO) are working to create a model that can predict the geographical spread of the coronavirus, using mobile data.

“The model should be able to analyze people’s movement patterns and thus predict where and when the coronavirus will infect,” says Professor Arnoldo Frigessi at the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital to the Research Council (Forskningsrådet).

Already started
Frigessi and colleagues at UiO were already working on a model that could use mobile data to predict the spread of normal influenza, in a collaboration project with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Telenor. They were then analyzing data from Bangladesh.

“When covid-19 began to threaten Norway as well, Telenor decided to offer us mobility data from Norway. This was a great opportunity and we are very grateful to Telenor for doing a great job of preparing data.”

Unique data
The model has now been tested for the first time, and the Institute of Public Health can soon use it with several other models, according to the researcher.

“Even now we see that people are moving less, and this is of course good news to curb the epidemics. The mobility data from the mobile phones is unique and makes the forecasts about the spread of covid-19 much more accurate than using other data for mobility,” says Frigessi.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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