Pandemonium: Risk Analytics for COVID-19
One-line solution summary:
Advanced data-driven and scientifically-grounded risk assessment solution to empower individuals and organizations to assess COVID-19 risks
Pitch your solution.
COVID-19 has decimated economies, destroyed jobs and caused half a million deaths and counting. For individuals, companies and local governments, the lack of data-driven risk assessment tools has continued to hamper efforts to return to normal.
Quantum Risk Analytics, Inc. is developing a robust risk assessment tool for predicting real-world infection and mortality based on age, health, the location’s risk and individuals’ activity and behavior. By aggregating multi-dimensional data and using highly advanced techniques, we will give individuals and organizations a complete risk assessment tool and empower them to make informed decisions about their activities.
Our tools will be widely available via our freemium business model; corporate users (and advance users) will pay for advanced features. We rely on partnerships to obtain relevant data and will prioritize our solution on high risk use-cases. Our Pandemonium model will also prepare humanity for future pandemics.
What specific problem are you solving?
COVID-19 has been extremely disruptive for everyone globally. It has resulted in numerous deaths, healthcare infrastructure being over-extended, high joblessness, financial losses and most importantly, uncertainty about restarting the life and economy. While many COVID-19 models exist, these models do not have the granularity to assess risks at the micro-level of individual or localized groups.
2020 GDP is projected to decline from around 3.0>#/span### to 2.4>#/span###. 40 to 60 million people are expected to enter into extreme poverty (defined as living on less than $1.90 a day) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aviation industry is facing a deep crisis, with 90% of the global fleet grounded. Meanwhile, global commodity prices have seen their largest fall on record, falling 20.4% in March 2020. Global trade for the second quarter of 2020 is now forecast to drop by a precipitous 27>#/span### year-on-year. Tourism is forecast to fall between 58% to 78% this year.
In terms of social costs, the education of 1.6 billion learners has been disrupted; that is 9 out of every 10 students in the world.
Most concerning of all, the impact of COVID-19 is expected to continue for years to come post COVID-19.
What is your solution?
We are working on providing everyone a tool to assess their individual and families’ risks, based on information they choose to provide like their recent history & future plans, their location, demographic profile and pre-existing medical conditions.
Our web-based portal will enable them to upload all these data. This, together with our and other modelling data, will allow us to deliver a personalized risk assessment, and enable users to assess the impact of their choices on infection risk, as well as those of their immediate family and roommates. And they will also receive an assessment of their societal risks. All personal data is optional.
The corporate version will include additional modeling of their operating environment to assess their employees and customers’ risks, including custom modeling of unique situations. We enable organizers of large-scale events to assess risks from crowd aggregation and dispersal. At the city/county level, we enable public health officials to assess macro risks related to various measures like limiting gatherings and mandatory masking in public
We intend to first offer our solutions first in the US, but will quickly roll it out internationally. The international versions will factor in specific cultural and environmental differences in each individual market.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Our solution serves the public to assess their risk. This solution may be used by individuals, companies, schools, event organizers, government etc. The solution will empower the individuals to make informed decisions by using their unique multiple factors and situations into our risk analytics solution.
Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge.
Quantum Risk Analytics, Inc. is directly addressing several UN Sustainable Development goals (3, 4, 8, 10, 11). Attainment of goals has been severely curtailed and even dialed backwards by COVID-19, hence we are directly targeting the COVID-19 root cause, empowering individuals and organizations to make informed decisions and enabling them to resume working towards those goals. As a stop-gap mitigation measure before a vaccine is found, our solution can significantly reduce the second order impact of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the disadvantaged groups. Our solutions priorities helping these disadvantaged groups, which is the core focus of the UN goals.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Chichester, NY, USA
What is your solution’s stage of development?Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model
Who is the primary delegate for your solution?
Richard D. Hamlin, Founder & de facto CEO
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
Our solution brings diverse components together in an innovative fashion resulting in greater capability of the solution to perform even more complex analyses holistically. Additionally, our solution strives to bring the most advanced tools such as quantum machine learning to the public in an easy to use manner and free of cost which is innovative.
Our biggest differentiators are granularity and personalization. We intend to take into consideration individual risk factors, including (but not limited to) medical history, detailed travel history/plans, and potentially even genetic data. As far as we know, none of the existing models have all of these.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
use a combination of technologies as the core of our solution –
probabilistic programming language (Pyro),
and computational fluid dynamics.
More about the technology and how we will use it is discussed in https://pandemonium.dev/proposal-draft.pdf
Provide evidence that this technology works.
The evidence of our solution working will be assessed from the accuracy it achieves. Accuracy depends on the risk model and data fed into the model. We will pilot our solution with partner organizations to test, refine and confirm the risk model. In parallel, we will continue to gather data to feed into the model to continue improving the accuracy of the model’s prediction.
The technologies that we are using have been utilized successfully in various applications. Some have already been used successfully in COVID19 modeling, except in less comprehensive ways. Here are two examples of machine learning applied to COVID19:
Youyang Gu (an MIT alum) has developed a relatively simple model (https://covid19-projections.co...) that employs machine learning (ML) techniques and has done better than many more complex models (see the analysis he provides on site above). It demonstrates the power of ML applied properly. He is relying on death data which the most reliable. We will be using death & intubation data to ground our modeling due to data reliability, (see discussion in https://pandemonium.dev/propos...), but will also utilize many other data in order to further improve the modeling.
MIT DELPHI project has an
infection calculator & mortality calculator:
These are trained on data using machine learning. These are independent of their macro model and are specifically for the clinical setting, whereas we are addressing the much broader domain of outside the clinical setting and integrating with the macro model to do that
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
What is your theory of change?
Our solution is built on the concept that individuals can make better decisions for themselves and others if they are provided with all the necessary information. Therefore, our solution strives to empower the individuals by allowing them to input and analyze their unique situations into our solution anonymously to assess the health risk associated with them and make the best decision for themselves and others around them.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
We currently have no users as the solution is in development phase.
Conservatively, in one year, we intend to serve 3% of the US population and 100 companies of average 1000 employees each and have a significant user-base outside the US. In 5 years, we hope to serve 10% of the US population and 1000 companies and have very substantial global usage. By that time the pandemic is expected to be over, but our tool can still be used for other infectious diseases like the seasonal influenza.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Our immediate goal is to develop our model (and incorporate relevant data) to the extent that we can help anyone who wants such a tool (particularly among urban, low income residents). Within the next five years, we intend to work withepidemiologists, infectious disease experts and other scientists to continue incorporating the latest and advanced knowledge, technologies and models at that time (e.g. for specific use cases in specialized environments), and leverage the collective expertise of the medical and scientific community to make this the most useful model for risk analytics for future pandemics.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?
We anticipate our biggest barrier to be availability and access to accurate data of root causes and their impact on infection spread and mortality. The fragmented way data is collected in different global markets makes it difficult for us to normalize the data for global use while privacy concerns would hamper data to be shared. More importantly, organizations who collect and have access to relevant data are unlikely to share initially until we build a network and reach critical mass of data coverage.
Secondly, once we have the required data and our refined model, organizations still need to be persuaded to use data-driven insights to make their risk-mitigation decisions. There could be other (e.g. political & business) considerations that may prevent decisions around minimizing infection spread and mortality reduction based purely on scientific evidence and irrefutable data.
In next five years, the major barrier we anticipate is the scale-up of the solution to global locations, incorporating the diversity of different populations and the large user base.
How do you plan to overcome these barriers?
Our ability to demonstrate effectiveness in the first few use cases will be fundamental to solving both the above-mentioned barriers. For example, if we can successfully help a factory or a small city minimize infection using our tool, other organizations/cities will be persuaded to use our tool and provide us with more data to refine our tool.
Additionally, MIT network and MIT Solve community will be leveraged to help us obtain high quality data, refine our model and demonstrate effectiveness in initial use cases.
Being a charitable non-profit corporation enable us access proprietary data which are available to non-profits / research institutions. We also plan to crowdsource highly localized data which is not available from centralized source. We will use advanced techniques like machine learning both to extract meaningful data from social media and digital photos & videos, as well as to ascertain elusive parameters that are hard to measure by optimizing the fit of the model to the most reliable data. With our corporation, we plan to engage the local and state officials to obtain data and adopt our solution.
Our team is geographically diverse that works remotely to source the appropriate resources with the required skills.
What type of organization is your solution team?Nonprofit
How many people work on your solution team?
6 people total working on the solution, all volunteers, including 2 in Europe, 3 in US, 1 in Asia.
1 working full-time now on it, another nearly half-time.
Various advisory contributors.
How many years have you worked on your solution?
Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
As a global solution team, we bring all relevant skills ranging from management to information technology to healthcare. Specifically, we bring skills and experience such as in life science industry, strategy and innovation, both business management and not-for-profit corporate management, GIS, data science, software development, artificial intelligence, including quantum machine learning, combinatorial optimization, as well as numerical modeling and fluid mechanics. ~50% of our team are MIT alumni and the team is led by a core team of MIT alumni; they bring strong technical experience and background to the team. Our team has also adopted a strategic approach to build upon the existing solutions to lead to complex analyses to revolutionize the management of COVID19.
What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?
Our team is exploring partnership with Research Science Institute for scientific networking with the leading scientists in fields such as big data analytics and infectious disease, and we are participating in their mentorship program, offering student internships through them this summer. A faculty at University of Illinois (also an MIT alumnus) is acting as an advisor of our team.
What is your business model?
In the short-term, we plan to focus on the free solution that is available through a web-portal to the general public and small-businesses. We are in the process of seeking funding through grants, donations, crowdsourcing and MIT Solve to fund our effort to develop and rollout the free solution. In the long-term, we will offer a customized, paid solution to the large, for-profit corporations. This customized, paid solution will allow us to sustain the refinement, availability and rollout of the free solution to the general public.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
What is your path to financial sustainability?
Initially, we will rely on volunteers, grants and crowdfunding sources to get us to a workable prototype. Once we are able to offer the solution via our freemium model to the general public, we expect at least a small percentage to sign up as our premium paid users. In parallel, we will approach organizations whose core businesses are most severely impacted and demonstrate that our tool can enable them to resume operations. Once we achieve our critical mass of corporate users, that will be our primary revenue source.
On the cost side, we intend to be lean operationally, and scale our costs proportionately to revenue. This way, we will always be able to maintain a financially viable business model.
Why are you applying to Solve?
Seed funding, brand recognition, feedback on our solution, mentorship by and connection with MIT faculty to further develop and refine our solution, more effective outreach to our customers and organizations that own data through MIT Solve.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
First priority for partnership is to obtain data to feed our model. Data can be very costly if bought on a commercial basis, and the huge data requirement of our model necessitates that we obtain them via partnerships, e.g. in exchange for data, we can offer the organization a discounted or free subscription to our customized, premium solution for the first year. We will offer our partners more value in return for their data contributions.
Our second partnership goal is to identify and pilot our tool in some of the most impacted use cases, e.g. airlines, cruise ships, schools/universities, factories. This will help us to rapidly refine our model and make it ready for general adoption.
Third, we wish to partner with established research and scientific organizations in order to tap into their scientific expertise and accelerate the development of our model.
What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?
First of all, as MIT is grappling with the decision of how to open the Fall 2020 semester in a way that minimizes the risk of infection, we would like to partner with the Institute to apply our tool to help manage the micro-environment within the campus - the re-design of how lectures are conducted, how student living, athletic center, hallways, lab arrangements and how dining facilities need to be reconfigured, which students to bring back on campus for the Fall 2020 semester. This will help student and faculty members return to campus in a safe manner.
We certainly would like to get help from MIT Venture Mentoring to scale our operations.