Launch of the AIOLOS project
Sanofi in France and the Fraunhofer Institutes SCAI and ITMP in Germany lead the consortium, which includes four other French and German partners: CompuGroup Medical, Quinten Health, Impact Healthcare and umlaut, part of Accenture. The project is supported by the French State and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in the context of the Franco-German call on Artificial Intelligence technologies for risk prevention, crisis management and resilience. This call for projects operated by Bpifrance, on behalf of the French government as part of the France 2030 investment plan, and by DLR Projektträger, aims to support innovation projects between France and Germany on artificial intelligence technologies.
The Covid-19 crisis has confirmed the need for a resilient multi-stakeholder surveillance and control system to manage current and future epidemics or pandemics. The uncertainty regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the circulation patterns of other respiratory pathogens (e.g. influenza or others), makes such surveillance even more important.
In this context, AIOLOS aims at supporting decision making by integrating and combining real-time data from various sources and using advanced AI analytical methods. The goal is to detect early signs of an epidemic related to respiratory pathogens, monitor their spread, derive appropriate counter measures, and assess their impact.
The six French and German partners of the consortium bring complementary expertise: Sanofi (epidemiology, vaccines and immunological products), the Fraunhofer Society (medical and computational science), Quinten Health (AI and precision medicine), CompuGroup Medical (medical information solutions), umlaut (technological capabilities development) and Impact Healthcare (innovation & digital health) -subcontracted by Sanofi.
Additional key public and private organizations are involved as associated partners to contribute data or bring scientific and technical expertise.
“AIOLOS will establish a framework to analyze traditional and untraditional real-world data using a combination of artificial Intelligence and infectious disease modeling. It will aim at delivering a unified understanding across stakeholders of plausible epidemics scenarios, a key prerequisite to support resilience”, says Dr Cedric Mahe, Associate VP and Global Head, Modeling, Epidemiology and Data Science at Sanofi Vaccines in Lyon. “The project will not be run in isolation but will build on the many ongoing efforts worldwide to strengthen pandemic preparedness. This platform is expected to have a strong positive impact for public health but also across various sectors of the economy.”
“AIOLOS is a great opportunity to integrate different types of data from various sources to improve our understanding of, and response to, new epidemics. Importantly, respiratory pathogens do not stop at national borders, which is why partners from France and Germany join forces and combine their skills and capabilities to be better prepared for upcoming outbreaks”, says Dr Aimo Kannt, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP.
The consortium aims at delivering a prototype of the platform within two years, which will focus on France and Germany. The platform is then expected to be extended across Europe and beyond and to contribute to the set-up of multipartite resilient surveillance systems in the European Union. This could notably support the EU Health Emergency Response Authority (HERA) mission.
The consortium will also seek synergies with the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin and other important stakeholders in this field at the global level.
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