The CoronaSurveys project, with Carlos Baquero – researcher at High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab) and professor at EEUM -, was one of the five finalists of the international competition COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge.
Selected among more than 115 people and 50 organisations, CoronaSurveys earned a prize of $5K; the presentation of the project’s prototype took place on December 16, at a public event. Several renowned guest speakers, like the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden, attended this event. According to Carlos Baquero, this acknowledgement “facilitated disseminating the project, and allowed obtaining feedback from public healthcare experts, serving as an opportunity for the evolution of Network Scale-Up survey techniques.”
Sponsored by Facebook, this challenge was supported by Facebook Data for Good, University of Maryland (UMD), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, and Resolve to Save Lives.
It is important to mention that the research carried within the scope of the CoronaSurveys aims to assess, in real time, the number of cases of COVID-19 worldwide – with the forecast figures confirmed in Spain through serological surveys. This application explored new techniques for predicting the number of cases and mortality rate, one or two weeks in advance.
In order to achieve this, the team of researchers provides an online survey, available in 60 different languages, and combines the resulting data with data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, as well as a symptom survey promoted by Facebook, UMD and CMU.
Researcher Antonio Fernandez Anta, from IMDEA Networks, a Spanish institute that carries out research on data networks, leads the team. In Portugal, and in addition to Carlos Baquero, the project team includes Raquel Menezes, also a professor at UMinho.