A multidisciplinary approach, which comes from collaboration between different branches of knowledge, is key to being able to analyse how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our society. For this reason, since the state of alarm was activated in March, researchers from IFISC (CSIC-UIB) have invested resources and time in studying how the pandemic has affected life in the Balearic Islands since, due to its insular condition, it has some peculiarities that differentiate it from other places in Spain.
The monograph Effect of the COVID-19 in the Balearic Islands: an interdisciplinary study, published by IFISC researchers, in collaboration with researchers from outside the institute, has 3 articles that analyse different key aspects of the pandemic: the mobility of citizens, the risk of suffering a second wave and the prediction of the poor evolution of patients using artificial intelligence tools.
In the first of these, entitled COVID-19: Predicting ICU hospitalisation/death events using medical care records and machine learning tools, the researchers trained artificial intelligence algorithms to predict whether a patient would die, be admitted to the intensive care unit or be discharged. To do this, they combined dozens of clinical characteristics of patients.
In COVID-19 Second Wave Risk Analysis in the Balearic Islands, the scientists proposed an epidemiological model to predict the behaviour of a potential second wave of cases and see which variables modified it. They observed that the number of cases in the first wave determines how severe the second wave will be. The intensity of the second peak is more pronounced the fewer cases there were in the first, since the model assumes that passing the virus guarantees immunity.
Finally, in Mobility during the pandemic, researchers used mobile phone data to analyse how much and how the mobility of Balearic citizens changed during the confinement. The study shows how mobility between municipalities fell dramatically when the state of alarm was activated, while intra-municipal travel increased, probably due to causes such as necessary purchases of food, pharmaceuticals or work in the vegetable gardens.
The monograph is available on the website of Medicina Balear, the health sciences journal of the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina de les Illes Balears.
Efecto de la COVID-19 en Baleares: un estudio interdisciplinar. Claudio R. Mirasso. Medicina Balear. 2020; 35 (4): 24-33