- The Barcelona Supercomputing Center, national health institutes around the world and startup, Pebble Analytics, are participating in a project that may help combat COVID-19
- In 2018, Sabadell Venture Capital, the venture capital division of Banco Sabadell, acquired a stake in the company as reference investor
MITIGA Solutions, the Catalan company that develops data science solutions to combat natural disasters, has announced the development of an early warning system for epidemics caused by infectious diseases. The product is called Epi-EWS and will be tested in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Banco Sabadell’s Sabadell Venture Capital has been the company’s reference investor since 2018, when it led an investment round of 1.2 million euros.
MITIGA Solutions has partnered with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, various national health institutes worldwide and the startup, Pebble Analytics, to create Epi-EWS. Product development is proceeding at a good pace and a prototype will be launched at the end of August so that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of South Africa may use it to combat COVID-19. The consortium is in talks with other European and African countries to roll out the technology in time for a second wave of the pandemic.
“Complex problems, such as epidemics, require integrated and collaborative solutions. We as organisations can all contribute to the fight against COVID-19”, explained Dr. Alex Martí, CEO of Mitiga Solutions. Raúl Rodríguez, Director of BS Capital, asserts that Banco Sabadell is “always seeking to fund and work with providers of innovative solutions that can revolutionise a market with a sustainable approach, and MITIGA fits into that profile perfectly”.
Anonymised and transparent data
Epi-EWS is based on the Digital Participatory Surveillance (DPS) method, in which citizens answer questions related to their health condition using a mobile app distributed by their country’s national health institute. The data is anonymised, stored in a cloud-hosted “data lake” and then processed by powerful epidemiological growth models, to obtain precise forecasts of when and where an outbreak might occur by means of early detection systems. The results are shared via a user-friendly platform with governmental organisations and the citizens who have taken part.
The tool is applicable to the COVID-19 crisis and to future crises of a similar kind related to flu outbreaks and many other common diseases.
Avoiding volcanic ash
Mitiga Solutions started out as a spin-off from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and uses scientific and technological knowledge to develop tools to optimise decision-making. One such example is FLYaware, an early warning application for air traffic control, which enables the impact of volcanic ash, mineral dust, sea salt and other atmospheric phenomena that are harmful to commercial aircraft to be reduced. FLYaware is already being marketed and it is helping airlines, and engine manufacturers, to improve their operations and optimise maintenance of their aircraft.