Scientists present solution to help in early detection of pandemic peaks

An international study published in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature group, showed that a new format for analyzing mathematical models would help in the early detection and prediction of different types of developing cancer and pandemics.

Led by Paulo Rocha, from the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC), and Lode Vandamme, from the University of Eindhoven (Netherlands), the study provides the scientific community that works with this type of mathematical models with a new reading format data, more precisely, on a logarithmic and linear scale, called “log-lin”.

«We explored the mathematical model most often used by the scientific community, a model proposed by Verhulst, and found that if we interpret the data in this way (“log-lin”) and not in conventional formats, we can obtain information that allows the early detection not only of pandemic peaks but also of the development of several types of cancer, although in very different time scales», explains Paulo Rocha.

Paulo Rocha, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (FCTUC)

The FCTUC scientist states that «this scientific article suggests to the scientific community that works with this type of models that it starts using this format of analysis». In view of the pandemic situation we are experiencing, this study may allow us «to detect more timely when pandemic peaks will appear», he stresses.

«Cancer and pandemics are two of the main causes of death worldwide and currently represent a severe global concern. For both scenarios, early detection and forecasting are critical. Our work shows that, in pandemics and cancers, similar problems can be solved and flagged in a timely manner, using similar mathematical and physical models», notes the researcher, adding that these models «can, in due course, signal the appearance of epidemiological peaks – currently important for the forecast of the second and third peaks of COVID-19 -, in addition to summarizing vital data for government entities and citizens».

Another important facet of the study is the fact that the analysis model proposed by this group of scientists reveals that the «Brownian movement explains the rules of behavior in a pandemic and emphasizes the importance of confinement, social distance, masks, face shields, and air conditioning».

The results presented in the published article, according to the authors, define a new scientific milestone, «since our mathematical investigation between cancers and pandemics reveals a multifactorial correlation between both weaknesses and helps to understand, predict in a timely manner and, in the last analysis, reduce the socio-economic obstacle of oncological diseases and pandemics».

This mathematical investigation has a wide and important scientific impact with technical relevance and constitutes a relevant contribution, both for the scientific community and for the population in general.

Full study here.

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