The EU-funded project PAIR has just started in Copenhagen with the participation of 20 partners from seven countries. This five-year project aims to ensure that Europe possesses the expertise and capabilities for advanced point-of-care systems and prognostic models based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has shown the need for preparedness for possible future pandemics.
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The impact of pandemics and the urgent need for preparedness
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was the most significant global shock in decades, claiming millions of lives and wreaking havoc on the global economy. This pandemic has underscored the dramatic consequences of epidemics and pandemics. It has also emphasized the necessity for transparent, faster, and better-informed decisions regarding readiness and response. Technology and modeling that can provide rapid, reliable, and cost-effective information are crucial for informed decision-making and maintaining public trust.
Revolutionary Tools for Pandemic Preparedness
PAIR will address pandemic preparedness by introducing two special interactive tools: PANPOC and PANRISK.
PANPOC: A Point-of-Care instrument for the rapid detection of respiratory RNA viruses with pandemic potential in human, animal, and environmental samples.
PANRISK: An AI/ML-based model that processes field data from freely accessible online resources and proprietary partner results. It can assess pandemic risk based on spatial occurrence (geographical mapping), temporal occurrence patterns, and the temporal evolution of a virus (genetic surveillance, bioinformatics analysis).
Both tools have been carefully selected to meet the comprehensive requirements for a European One Health genomic-informed surveillance and outbreak response model.
Implementation and validation across European countries
The PAIR tools (PANPOC and PANRISK) will be implemented and validated by veterinary and clinical end-users in Denmark, France, Latvia, Italy, and Spain.
Carsten Thure Kirkeby, PAIR project coordinator, emphasizes, "Covid has made us realize how urgent it is to adopt the One Health approach for global health. This approach addresses the needs of the most vulnerable populations in their wider contexts. With PAIR, we aim to move in this direction by enhancing preparedness and responses with better decision-making. With advanced modeling, we will enable greater coordination across regions and countries, and thus address an identified weakness in pandemic response”.
"To support the PAIR project in its pioneering endeavors towards more effective pandemic responses, ICONS will ensure the right people learn about and adopt the innovation – whether it be technological or social – in the right way," says Ani Asatryan, project manager officer at ICONS, an Italian agency specializing in science communication and social and business innovation.
The PAIR project is scheduled to run from January 2024 to December 2028 under the coordination of the University of Copenhagen.