A COVID-19-Based Modified Epidemiological Model and Technological Approaches to Help Vulnerable Individuals Emerge from the Lockdown in the UK
- The use of wearable devices (henceforth, wearables) to enable vulnerable people to take part in contact tracing,
- The development of effective incentive mechanisms to motivate people to engage in contact tracing,
- The use of digital tools to maintain physical distancing and monitor health symptoms,
- The use of personal protective equipment.
- Reduced rates of transmission post-lockdown in vulnerable populations;
- Fewer restrictions on the vulnerable post-lockdown with noticeable improvement in their well-being (many may already be suffering from loneliness and mental health problems due to the lockdown);
- Ensuring that the vulnerable people and the hard-to-reach are connected and closely monitored.
2. Infectious Diseases Spread Modelling
2.1. SIRS Model
- Infectious rate (β): is the rate of spread of the virus given by the probability of transmitting the disease between an infectious individual and a susceptible individual. This is subject to the disease transmission probability and the chance of contact.
- Recovery rate is determined by the average duration of the infectious period of the disease (Tlat).
- Re-susceptibility rate (ξ) is the rate at which recovered individuals return to the susceptible state due to loss of immunity (normally ignored due to long-term immunity).
2.2. SEIRS Model
2.3. The Role of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and Herd Immunity
3.1. Proposed Model: SEIR-v
3.2. Model Parametrization
3.3. Virus Transmissibility Study
- The vulnerable group contact rate, βv, is decreased from the beginning of the outbreak. For this scenario, the potential reduction in the number of deaths if more protective measures for vulnerable groups had been applied from the beginning of the outbreak was studied.
- The vulnerable group contact rate, βv, is decreased from June 2020. In this case. the potential reduction in the number of deaths resulting from the implementation of measures from June 2020 was studied.
4.1. Reduction of the Contact Rate of Vulnerable Individuals from the Beginning of the Outbreak
4.2. Reduction of the Contact Rate of Vulnerable Individuals from June 2020
5. Protecting the Vulnerable People
5.1. Wearables for Contact Tracing
- Mobile phones might not be always with users. Instead, they might be left at home, in the car or at work, which means their social encounters don’t always correspond to actual contact.
- A wristband solution will only have radio technology with a small memory and a battery with no access to users’ data which could help to preserve privacy. As it is low power it can always be on. It does not require set-up up or installation by the wearer.
- Phone apps need to be installed and activated by users, and Bluetooth needs to be switched on. These requirements represent real barriers to the use of apps by vulnerable people who may have difficulties in remembering instructions, digital literacy, vision or motor control.
- Contact Tracing apps can consume more energy as they are often kept active with battery optimisation features disabled.
- Wearables are more likely to be worn at the front side of the body (e.g., wristbands, necklace or a keyfob), which could potentially improve the accuracy of the proximity detection in the case of face of face contact.
- Smart phones come with different operating systems and settings, which means each model might require individual calibration and configuration.
5.2. Digital Tools to Maintain Social Distancing
5.3. Wearable to Monitor Symptoms
5.4. Disease Transmission and the Use of Personal Protective Equipment
5.5. Adoption and Incentive Mechanisms for Behavioural Change
6. Conclusions and Future Work
Conflicts of Interest
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|N||N People||Population||67,838,235 ||Total population in the UK as of 2020|
|Ev0||N People||Vulnerable Exposed||2||Vulnerable individuals exposed to the disease at the beginning of the outbreak|
|E0||N People||Exposed||4||Non-vulnerable individuals exposed to the disease at the beginning of the outbreak|
|Iv0||N People||Infected||0||Vulnerable infected individuals at the beginning of the outbreak|
|I0||N People||Infected||1||Non-vulnerable infected individuals at the beginning of the outbreak|
|Tinc||Days||Incubation period||5.6 ||σ = 1/Tinc, where Tinc is the time it takes for an exposed individual to become infectious|
|Tlat||Days||Latent period||7.5 ||γ = 1/Tlat, where Tlat is the time it takes for an infectious individual to recover|
|µv||Vulnerable deaths/Vulnerable Infected||Vulnerable Case Fatality Rate||[0.005–0.037, 95% CI]%||Case fatality rate of COVID-19 on vulnerable individuals|
|µ||Non-vulnerable deaths/non-vulnerable Infected||Non-vulnerable Case Fatality Rate||[0.000007–0.000011, 95% CI]%||Case fatality rate of COVID-19 on non-vulnerable individuals|
|pv||*-||Vulnerable probability||0.2||Probability of an individual being vulnerable to the disease|
|η||*-||Fear Factor||0.33||Fear factor caused by the recommendation made by the UK government for vulnerable individuals to stay at home for at least 12 weeks at the beginning of the outbreak and the widespread severity of the disease within this group|
|β0||1/(person*day)||Initial Contact Rate||[0.5–2.1, 95% CI]||Contact rate at the beginning of the outbreak|
|β1||1/(person*day)||Contact Rate 1||[0.9–0.95, 95% CI] * β0||Contact rate after the mandate of case-based self-isolation|
|β2||1/(person*day)||Contact Rate 2||[0.9–0.95, 95% CI] * β1||Contact rate after government encouragement for social distancing|
|β3||1/(person*day)||Contact Rate 3||[0.75–0.85, 95% CI] * β2||Contact rate after schools closure|
|β4||1/(person*day)||Contact Rate 4||[0.40–0.60, 95% CI] * β3||Contact rate after lockdown order and banning of public events|
|β5||1/(person*day)||Contact Rate 5||[1.1–1.9, 95% CI] * β4||Contact rate after recommendation for people to go back to work|
|βvi||1/(person*day)||Vulnerable Contact Rate||η * βi||Contact rate of vulnerable individuals.|
|Decrease in βv||10%||20%||30%||40%||50%||60%||70%||80%||90%|
|Decrease in Number of Deaths||7699||15,512||23,428||31,434||39,519||47,671||55,876||64,122||72,395|
|Decrease in βv||10%||20%||30%||40%||50%||60%||70%||80%||90%|
|Decrease in Number of Deaths||3681||7406||11,172||14,975||18,810||22,673||26,559||30,464||34,383|
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Anderez, D.O.; Kanjo, E.; Pogrebna, G.; Kaiwartya, O.; Johnson, S.D.; Hunt, J.A. A COVID-19-Based Modified Epidemiological Model and Technological Approaches to Help Vulnerable Individuals Emerge from the Lockdown in the UK. Sensors 2020, 20, 4967. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20174967
Anderez DO, Kanjo E, Pogrebna G, Kaiwartya O, Johnson SD, Hunt JA. A COVID-19-Based Modified Epidemiological Model and Technological Approaches to Help Vulnerable Individuals Emerge from the Lockdown in the UK. Sensors. 2020; 20(17):4967. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20174967Chicago/Turabian Style
Anderez, Dario Ortega, Eiman Kanjo, Ganna Pogrebna, Omprakash Kaiwartya, Shane D. Johnson, and John Alan Hunt. 2020. "A COVID-19-Based Modified Epidemiological Model and Technological Approaches to Help Vulnerable Individuals Emerge from the Lockdown in the UK" Sensors 20, no. 17: 4967. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20174967