True Digital: Predictive analysis for pandemic control

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The context


In Thailand, at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, epidemic clusters had become a challenge for disease control, becoming a serious burden for hospitals. The challenge was to get stakeholders involved as quickly as possible and be able to communicate in real-time regarding the incident thanks to situational awareness via density maps and other means.

To be the most effective in preventing further spread, the data has to be low-latency, real-time data, which shows how these anonymous mobile phones are moving, and to immediately and proactively determine the location hubs of increasing population density. Large gatherings are especially worrisome during a pandemic like this. The key concept is to track how mass population moves from one part of the country to the other, then determine what they can deliver to the Thai Government authorities to help them, firstly, protect themselves and, secondly, obviate the need for testing for the virus.

The solution

Before the pandemic, the True Digital Group’s Analytics team was already a leader in the analytics space for telco, having successfully deployed the Intersec platform, which could crunch trillions of relevant customer data points such as location, browsing activity, etc. The team had also successfully launched location services based on this, for example, to optimize retail branch locations.

Thus, they decided to leverage the collection and aggregation of anonymous mobile phone locations in real-time to immediately assist the Thai Government authorities in tracking the spread of COVID-19.

By leveraging the Intersec platform, the True Digital Group’s Analytics team was able to automatically determine where large gatherings were forming via the geographic density of the mobile phone locations. The Intersec fast data capabilities overcame all technical challenges around the anonymous tracking and tracing at scale:

  • Performing event stream processing on 500,000 anonymous location events every second for over 30 million mobile phones;

  • Updating the visualization at least every 2 minutes;

  • Making a dataset of 2 petabytes of reference data and historical data available for further analysis and investigation with ultra-low latency, on the order of milliseconds.

The Analytics team of True Digital Group deployed a web portal to display the potential crowd size in specific areas and created dashboards in the crisis operations control center for the country.

  • These dashboards allowed the Thai public authorities to zoom into one province, district, or sub-district of Thailand and see in real time how many people waere located there. This helped to anticipate where large gatherings were forming.

  • The second usage was for determining the optimal placement of resources, such as medical supplies. This enabled dynamic reallocation of human resources and physical resources, which made the disaster relief efforts more proactive and timely.

In short, mobility data-based tools allowed authorities to visualize people’s movement from clusters quickly.

  • Visualization, in real-time of subscribers from a local to a national scale, with heatmaps/choropleths;

  • Scoring: a rating scale to identify the at-risk populations;

  • Prediction: insights utilized to predict scenarios, decide where to send medical staff, identify people likely to get sick, and streamline medical operations.

As a result of our use of the Intersec platform, we have been able to provide the Asia-Pacific authorities with instantaneous, precise location data that saves lives and prevents additional evolution of the pandemic.

Pedro Uria Recio

Chief Analytics & AI Officer

true digital covid 19 dashboard