The first computational model developed to simulate SARS-CoV-2 transmission and assess the impact of infection control measures in senior living facilities
Fort Lauderdale, FLA., August 31, 2020 – New simulation model results show that the use of a real-time digital contact tracing solution like CarePredict PinPoint, can result in 52% fewer cases of COVID-19 than conventional methods in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The modeling study, recently published in a special issue on COVID-19 in JMIR-Public Health and Surveillance, shows that CarePredict’s digital contact tracing system can enable the rapid and efficient isolation of residents exposed to the virus without compromising the well-being of residents who have not been exposed.
“SARS-CoV-2 can spread quickly through a long-term care facility, and rapid, efficient, and accurate infection control methods are required to keep residents safe,” said Dr. Gerald Wilmink, Chief Business Officer at CarePredict and co-author of the study. “Conventional control measures, including symptom-based screening and temperature-based monitoring, are ineffective at identifying asymptomatic residents that were exposed, and viral spread is too fast in close living spaces to be contained by slow manual contact tracing processes.”
To effectively control outbreaks, facilities need to understand the performance that different control methods have on resultant COVID-19 case numbers and fatalities. In this study, Dr.Wilmink states, “We created the first Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) compartmental model explicitly to simulate the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in congregate settings.”
The simulation results showed CarePredict PinPoint digital contact tracing consistently outperformed conventional methods under all the conditions tested, including:
- Presymptomatic/asymptomatic cases – digital contact tracing provided between 6-12% fewer cases than PCR testing and manual contact tracing. It also resulted in fewer deaths than symptom-based monitoring (22%), manual contact tracing (3%), and PCR testing (2%).
- Time-to-trace – CarePredict PinPoint could instantly trace all staff, residents, and visitors exposed to an infected person or place for any period. Further, it also identified contacts who were exposed to a contaminated area. Compared to other methods, it had the least time delays and an increased probability of tracing all exposed contacts.
Additional findings include:
- Symptom-based screening and temperature monitoring alone were the least effective control measures resulting in 60-71% more cases and 10-20% more deaths. These methods had limitations in identifying presymptomatic and asymptomatic cases and failed to capture atypical COVID-19 symptoms often exhibited by seniors.
- The results underscore the need for a rapid infection control measure in high-risk, high-density settings. Time-intensive processes like manual contact tracing are slow to identify all the contacts of a person under investigation [PUI] and allows these contacts more time to transmit the virus within the facility.
CarePredict PinPoint was explicitly developed to identify the spread of SARS-COV-2 in nursing homes and senior living facilities. PinPoint automatically generates a digitized list of all residents, staff, and visitors who have come in contact with a suspected carrier, classified by exposure risk. This distinction is critical in enabling facilities to identify, prioritize, and isolate contacts who pose a higher risk of transmitting the virus. Since airborne and surface transmissions can occur in confined environments such as long-term care facilities, PinPoint is the first solution to provide visibility into environmental contacts – taking into account the dwell time of an infected person in a particular area and identifying all others and their dwell time in the same area subsequently.
“Our unique technology and presence in senior care facilities, has allowed us to develop the first-ever model that examines how the virus spreads in congregate living settings and assess the efficacy of control measures in curtailing outbreaks in these facilities,” said Satish Movva, CEO and Founder, CarePredict. “This information is vital in helping keep older adults safe and healthy in group living facilities.”