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IBM Health Corps and Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

2016
Taiwan

Dengue fever is a major cause of morbidity and mortality across the tropics and subtropics. Globally, it is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus, and global incidence has increased 30-fold over the past 50 years. After a decade of few dengue cases in Taiwan, in 2014, a large dengue outbreak occurred in Kaohsiung with 15,492 cases, and in 2015, southern Taiwan suffered an even larger outbreak, with a total of 43,419 cases and 228 deaths.

In 2016, IBM Health Corps partnered with the Taiwan CDC to help improve their capacity to evaluate the potential interventions to fight dengue fever. Throughout the project, the IBM team adopted a practice of “co-creation” via side-by-side work sessions and trainings on modeling, analytics, and design thinking, to empower the CDC to enhance their modeling capabilities not only for dengue but for other serious infectious diseases facing the country.

Additionally, the IBM team delivered to Taiwan CDC the following assets at the conclusion of three weeks:

  • Cleansed and curated data set comprised from 13 original data files. 

  • Statistical models built to examine correlation between various social and environmental factors in order to refine the mathematical model and improve predictive capability. 

  • Mechanistic model built to predict the impact of introducing Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes on the case counts for dengue fever and the mosquito population. The model enabled interactive (“what if”) scenarios to evaluate the changes in human case counts and mosquito population based on different input parameters entered for number of Wolbachia mosquitoes released, the frequency and duration of the release.
  • Decision support interface: The interface helps CDC visualize the mechanistic model outputs and see the impacts of the interventions, including an estimate of cost of the intervention.

The team also developed an analytics agenda to show CDC how they can move from descriptive to predictive to prescriptive analytics in order to enhance their capacity to prevent and control infectious disease.

The Taiwan CDC is refining the model to apply to their upcoming mosquito season.

The Health Corps team we hosted last fall has not only enhanced my agency's data analytics capability, but also inspired my staff to utilize the analytics framework to accelerate the work in global disease detection and in fighting against the threat of emerging and re-emerging infectious disease.

Dr. Jih-Haw Chou
Director General for Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

Team Members

chris hammond

Chris Hammond

Design Research Lead

IBM Design

United States

Design Research Lead

IBM Design

United States

IBM Health Corps Team:

leanne haselden

Leanne Haselden, PhD

Partner, US Public Sector

Global Business Services

United States

Partner, US Public Sector

Global Business Services

United States

IBM Health Corps Team:

roslyn hickson

Roslyn Hickson, PhD

Research Scientist

IBM Research

Australia

Research Scientist

IBM Research

Australia

IBM Health Corps Team:

saleem hussain

Saleem Hussain

Head of Digital Hubs Experience

IBM Systems

United States

Head of Digital Hubs Experience

IBM Systems

United States

IBM Health Corps Team:

john piccone

John Piccone

Life Sciences Agile Insights Leader

IBM Watson Health

United States

Life Sciences Agile Insights Leader

IBM Watson Health

United States

IBM Health Corps Team:

sathya venkatraman

Sathya Venkatraman

Consulting Services Leader

IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) - Asia Pacific

India

Consulting Services Leader

IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) - Asia Pacific

India

IBM Health Corps Team:

Project Champions

Jen-Hsiang Chuang, MD, PhD

Deputy Director General

Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

Christine Liu, PhD

Director of Epidemic Intelligence Center

Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

Hao-Yuan Cheng, MD

Medical Officer of Epidemic Intelligence Center

Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

Media

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