Sensing pedestrian flows for real-time assessment of non-pharmaceutical policy interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic

6:30am - 7:30am PST (3:30pm to 4:30pm CET) | All sessions will be delivered live and online via the Gotowebinar system.

This webinar is part of the Power of Population Data Science Series

Reducing the number of social contacts within a population has shown to be an effective measure to reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some prominent non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been, e.g., stay-at-home orders or closing schools/businesses. To assess changes in spatial mobility of the German population, sensor data of pedestrian flows in 49 metropolitan areas at 100 locations in Germany were linked with NPI measurements that intended to reduce the number of social contacts.

As a pandemic requires a quick assessment of the effectiveness of policy interventions, we analyzed the suitability of such real-time technologies for measuring behavioral changes in a population. The sensors detected changes in the population's behavior even before policy interventions were enacted. Moreover, a reduction in pedestrian counts by up to 85% compared to the pre-pandemic year was found.

This presentation will discuss the findings and potential of linking sensor data and non-pharmaceutical interventions in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, we present some promising directions for subsequent research and applications.

View recorded presentation below.

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Jonas Klingwort Jonas Klingwort is Methodologist at Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in the Research & Development Department. He has a PhD in Research Methodology from the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

Jonas's work and research focus on using new technologies and data sources to improve data quality in official statistics. He has broad expertise in the use of survey, sensor, administrative, and spatial data covering several contextual areas.

His work has been published in the International Journal of Health Geographics, Survey Research Methods, Social Science Computer Review, International Journal of Population Data Science, Statistics and Operations Research, and Statistical Journal of the IAOS.

Sofie De Broe Sofie De Broe is the Scientific Coordinator of Strategy and External Positioning at Sciensano. She also has a visiting chair at the University of Maastricht in Smart Statistics for Policy Design. Between 2015 and 2021 Sofie was head of methodology and scientific director of the Centre for Big Data statistics (CBDS) at Statistics Netherlands. CBDS was set up to innovate official statistics using big data sources and new methods in data science. She has a PhD in social statistics/reproductive health from the university of Southampton, UK. She previously taught at the universities of Southampton and Duisburg-Essen (Germany) and worked at the Office for National Statistics in Titchfield (UK) as a researcher.

Sven Alexander BrockerSven Alexander Brockeris a research associate and PhD candidate at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Sven's current research focuses on health outcomes of children and adolescents in divorced and separated families. He has a background in survey methodology and is also interested in exploring novel data sources for data science applications.

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