Linking science and policy
Epidemix is making disease models easy to access, transparent, and visual. Free to use, it is helping students, teachers, researchers and policy makers to better understand disease spread and the impact of different interventions.
Keeping it simple
How can we support science-based decision making when science is complex and challenging to communicate? Compartmental models are commonly used in epidemiology to understand and predict the spread and establishment of infectious disease in populations. Epidemiologists typically implement these mathematical models in complex statistical software packages that require a high level of technical expertise, limiting the accessibility for most audiences.
Epidemix allows users to improve their understanding of key concept of disease dynamics and control, without having to directly deal with mathematical equations and programming language. The app makes it easy for users to follow the links between model outputs and underlying assumptions.
Users can choose from general and disease-specific models and the interface makes it easy to compare the impact of different parameter settings, such as the length of the asymptomatic period or percentage of the population that is protected by a vaccine on disease spread.
Results can be easily exported and shared e.g. with students or collaborators.
Connecting science with policy
Working closely with researchers at the Royal Veterinary College and the City University of Hong Kong, the flexibility of Epidemix allowed us to quickly add models for COVID-19 and African Swine Fever (ASF) to support the link between science and policy in efforts to curtail their spread, and to enhance training of concepts critical to their control to a global audience.
Muellner U, Fournie G, Muellner P, Ahlstrom C, Pfeiffer D. epidemix - an Interactive Multi-Model Application for Teaching and Visualizing Infectious Disease Transmission. Epidemics, doi: 10.1016/j.epidem.2017.12.003, 2017.
Muellner P, Fournie G, Muellner U, Yang L, Pfeiffer D. Taking the black box out of disease models to improve their use and interpretation – fool’s dream or a new frontier? One Health Aotearoa (OHA) Symposium, New Zealand, 2020.
Muellner U, Fournié G, Muellner P, Ahlstrom C, Pfeiffer D. Epidemix – an interactive application teaching the ins and outs of infectious disease modelling. Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) Science Week, Surfers Paradise, Australia, 2016.
Fournie G, Muellner U, Muellner P, Ahlstrom C, Pfeiffer D. epidemix-An interactive multi-model application for teaching and visualizing infectious disease transmission. Proceedings of the 15th Symposium of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE), Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2018.
Read the Epidemix case story in Making Impact from the One Health Poultry Hub