Chile receives the Franz Edelman Prize for research on COVID-19, supported by Gurobi | News
BEAVERTON, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 26, 2022–
Gurobi Optimization, LLC, creator of the world’s fastest mathematical optimization solver, announced that the Government of Chile has been awarded the prestigious Franz Edelman Award for outstanding work in operations research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chile’s health and science ministries have partnered with the Istituto Sistemas Complejos de Ingeniería (ISCI) and telecommunications company Entel to develop innovative methodologies that have shaped the country’s fight against the virus. Gurobi technology played a key role in the initiative’s serology study by ensuring the optimal allocation of mobile test stations, an effort that ultimately demonstrated the importance of booster vaccines.
When the pandemic hit Chile in the spring of 2020, science, operational research and analysis all played a vital role in the country’s overall response. The collaboration between Chile and ISCI focused on four key initiatives: 1) analyzing the real effects of the lockdowns in different principalities; 2) allocate limited capacity to ICUs; 3) increasing screening capacity and active screening; and 4) the implementation of a national serological surveillance program which has significantly influenced vaccination and booster choices in Chile.
“During the first wave of 2020, we saw a great disparity in the effectiveness of confinements between regions, and even within the same city,” explained Marcelo Olivares, researcher at ISCI. “Seeing this made it clear that we needed indicators other than new cases to quickly assess the effectiveness of the lockdowns, because waiting to observe the evolution of cases has proven too late to contain outbreaks. “.
Research teams used anonymized mobility data to anticipate outbreaks, which helped authorities develop more effective containment strategies. This resulted in approximately 13,000 fewer cases, 550 fewer hospitalizations and 370 fewer deaths. Mobility data also revealed that social distancing was more difficult for low-income families, allowing the government to provide more targeted assistance.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has taken control of all intensive care beds in the country, combining public and private hospitals into one centralized system and transporting patients from the most congested cities to less congested ones. ISCI researchers prepared forecasts based on bi-day data to predict critical care bed needs and gradually increase capacity.
To identify more asymptomatic cases, the government has increased mobile testing sites in public spaces. The Ministries of Health and Science worked with ISCI to effectively place these stations by combining mobility and epidemiological data. These active screening efforts have averted approximately 23,000 infections, 900 fewer ICU hospitalizations and 450 fewer deaths.
Without access to large quantities of mRNA vaccines, the Chilean government needed its own system to test and monitor the effectiveness of other available vaccine technologies. In order to allocate mobile test stations in a way that ensures representative samples of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, the Chilean research team used Gurobi Optimizer to formulate an integer programming problem based on mobility models and demographic data. This allowed them to determine which census areas should be tested. The problem was formulated and solved for each of the country’s 16 regions, and subsequent testing provided crucial evidence in support of a booster dose at a time when the need was not yet clear. Early adoption of booster doses ultimately resulted in approximately 29,000 fewer infections, 1,000 fewer ICU hospitalizations, and 1,000 fewer deaths.
As a recipient of the Franz Edelman Prize, Chile joins the ranks of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other past winners who have improved the organizational effectiveness, helped foster peace negotiations, and saved millions of lives. Known in the industry as the “Nobel Prize for Operations Research”, the competition is presented annually by INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Science).
“We are very proud of this appointment,” said Andrés Couve, Chilean Minister of Science. “This shows that [coordination between] the scientific community, the private sector and government — which is not always easy — can be done . . . and we did it in a country far from scientific and technological centers, a young nation that is preparing with the scientific community to meet future challenges. We also believe that this appointment is a good opportunity to show that Chile can be an example of how science is used in public policy.
About Gurobi Optimization
Gurobi produces the world’s fastest and most powerful mathematical optimization solver, the Gurobi Optimizer, which is used by leading global companies in over 40 different industries to quickly solve their complex real-world problems and make automated decisions that optimize their efficiency and profitability. As the market leader in mathematical optimization software, we aim to provide not only the best solver, but also the best support, so that businesses can take full advantage of the power of mathematical optimization (alone or in combination with other AI techniques such as machine learning) to optimize business decisions and outcomes.
Founded in 2008, Gurobi operates in the Americas, Europe and Asia and has more than 2,500 customers worldwide, including SAP, Air France, Uber and the National Football League (NFL). For more information, visit https://www.gurobi.com/ or call +1 713 871 9341.
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PUBLISHED: 04/26/2022 1:57 PM / DISK: 04/26/2022 1:57 PM