New forecasting tool for healthcare in response to pandemic

When Region Stockholm needed to manage patient numbers according to healthcare capacity, they turned to Sebastiaan Meijer, professor in healthcare logistics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. A forecasting tool is now ready based on historical data and interviews. The use of such tools is becoming increasingly relevant in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Region Stockholm reached out to the researchers just before the corona crisis broke.
“We said that we’d be delighted to help and could develop a forecasting tool based on our previous research. It hasn’t entered service yet, but it is ready if it’s needed,” Meijer says.
By using collected data and interviews with care staff, researchers can show in which hospital a given patient can get the help they need fastest.

Sebastiaan Meijer, professor at KTH.

Meijer has extensive research experience of simulations and forecasting in the transport sector. But creating systems for healthcare logistics is considerably more complicated, he explains.
“Here we need to design systems that are capable of managing extremely complex flows of patients and staff, between and within different healthcare settings,” says Meijer .
The researchers have also worked with forecasting related to mental wellbeing and how we can better manage this from a societal perspective – something that has become increasingly important the longer the corona pandemic continues.
“We build models that show how different measures to combat mental illness have greatest effect. Long term, this is about how we create structures that make society socially sustainable.”

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