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Bruyère researcher Dr. Doug Manuel launches website to predict COVID-19 cases in Ottawa


Bruyère researcher Dr. Doug Manuel and his team*, in partnership with Ottawa Public Health, have created www.613covid.ca – a website that predicts various scenarios around the number of hospitalizations and deaths in Ottawa due to COVID-19.
The new website will be regularly updated with data from Ottawa Public Health and will be used by hospitals and health care facilities in the region to plan resources such as intensive care beds and ventilators.
Dr. Manuel acknowledges creating long-range projections to predict growth of COVID-19 is difficult. “It’s akin to forecasting where a hurricane will make landfall when it is still thousands of kilometers out at sea,” he explains.

However his data does confirm that physical distancing can make a difference in reducing the number of deaths related to the virus. “The actions we take as a community matter,” he emphasizes.

The predictive modelling approach used by Dr. Manuel and his team for COVID-19 builds on similar approaches developed by other researchers in Ontario and around the world. He and his team also have ample experience working with big data sets, having previously built artificial intelligence to develop several widely-used interactive health calculators, available at www.projecbiglife.ca.
The team behind the Ottawa COVID-19 modelling approach includes Warsame Yusuf, Rostyslav Vyuha, Yulric Sequeira and Dr. Alan Forster, in addition to Dr. Manuel. From the Ottawa Public Health epidemiology team, contributors include Jacqueline Willmore, Amira Ali, and Dara Spatz Friedman.

*Dr. Doug Manuel is a researcher at the Bruyère Research Institute, The Ottawa Hospital, and the University of Ottawa. He is also a senior core scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. You can follow him on twitter at @doug_manuel.

The Ottawa Hospital also has this story. Members of the media can contact Michaela Schreiter, Media Relations Officer at The Ottawa Hospital, to request an interview with Dr. Manuel.