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Article

Mapping Spatiotemporal Diffusion of COVID-19 in Lombardy (Italy) on the Base of Emergency Medical Services Activities

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Electronics, Information and Biomedical Engineering dpt, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
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Civil and Environmental Engineering dpt, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
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Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell’Ambiente, 20133 Milano, Italy
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Azienda Regionale Emergenza Urgenza (AREU), 20124 Milano, Italy
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Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Elettronica e di Ingegneria dell’Informazione e delle Telecomunicazioni, 20133 Milano, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(11), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9110639
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 2 October 2020 / Accepted: 22 October 2020 / Published: 27 October 2020
The epidemic of coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) started in Italy with the first official diagnosis on 21 February 2020; However, it is not known how many cases were already present in earlier days and weeks, thus limiting the possibilities of conducting any retrospective analysis. We hypothesized that an unbiased representation of COVID-19 diffusion in these early phases could be inferred by the georeferenced calls to the emergency number relevant to respiratory problems and by the following emergency medical services (EMS) interventions. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to identify the beginning of anomalous trends (change in the data morphology) in emergency calls and EMS ambulances dispatches and reconstruct COVID-19 spatiotemporal evolution on the territory of Lombardy region. Accordingly, a signal processing method, previously used to find morphological features on the electrocardiographic signal, was applied on a time series representative of territorial clusters of about 100,000 citizens. Both emergency calls and age- and gender-weighted ambulance dispatches resulted strongly correlated to COVID-19 casualties on a provincial level, and the identified local starting days anticipated the official diagnoses and casualties, thus demonstrating how these parameters could be effectively used as early indicators for the spatiotemporal evolution of the epidemic on a certain territory. View Full-Text
Keywords: Covid-19; health geomatics; geographic information system; emergency medical services; signal processing; pandemic evolution Covid-19; health geomatics; geographic information system; emergency medical services; signal processing; pandemic evolution
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gianquintieri, L.; Brovelli, M.A.; Pagliosa, A.; Dassi, G.; Brambilla, P.M.; Bonora, R.; Sechi, G.M.; Caiani, E.G. Mapping Spatiotemporal Diffusion of COVID-19 in Lombardy (Italy) on the Base of Emergency Medical Services Activities. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 639. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9110639

AMA Style

Gianquintieri L, Brovelli MA, Pagliosa A, Dassi G, Brambilla PM, Bonora R, Sechi GM, Caiani EG. Mapping Spatiotemporal Diffusion of COVID-19 in Lombardy (Italy) on the Base of Emergency Medical Services Activities. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(11):639. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9110639

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gianquintieri, Lorenzo, Maria A. Brovelli, Andrea Pagliosa, Gabriele Dassi, Piero M. Brambilla, Rodolfo Bonora, Giuseppe M. Sechi, and Enrico G. Caiani. 2020. "Mapping Spatiotemporal Diffusion of COVID-19 in Lombardy (Italy) on the Base of Emergency Medical Services Activities" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9, no. 11: 639. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9110639

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