Modelling global public health strategies in COVID-19 pandemic using deep reinforcement learning
Publication in refereed journal


摘要Rationale: Unprecedented public health measures have been used during this coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic but with a cost to economic and social disruption. It is a challenge to implement timely and appropriate public health interventions.

Objectives: This study evaluates the timing and intensity of public health policies in each country and territory in the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether machine learning can help them to find better global health strategies.

Methods: Population and COVID-19 epidemiological data between 21st January 2020 to 7th April 2020 from 183 countries and 78 territories were included with the implemented public health interventions. We used deep reinforcement learning, and the model was trained to try to find the optimal public health strategies with maximizing total reward on controlling spread of COVID-19. The results proposed by the model were analyzed against the actual timing and intensity of lockdown and travel restrictions.

Measurements and Main Results: Early implementation of the actual lockdown and travel restriction policies were associated with gradually groups of less severe crisis severity, relative to local index case date in each country or territory, not to 31st December 2019. However, our model suggested to initiate at least minimal intensity of lockdown or travel restriction even before index cases in each country and territory. In addition, the model mostly recommended a combination of lockdown and travel restrictions and higher intensity policies than the implemented policies by government, but did not always encourage rapid full lockdown and full border closures.

Conclusion: Compared to actual government implementation, our model mostly recommended earlier and higher intensity of lockdown and travel restrictions. Machine learning may be used as a decision support tool for implementation of public health interventions during COVID-19 and future pandemics.
著者Gloria Hyunjung Kwak, Lowell Ling, Pan Hui
期刊名稱Research Square
關鍵詞Health Policy, Public Health Intervention, Machine learning, COVID-19, Coronavirus, population health

上次更新時間 2020-23-11 於 23:38