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Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HERoS (Health Emergency Response in Interconnected Systems)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31

HERoS' overall objective is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. HERoS provides policies and guidelines for improved crisis governance, focusing on responders to public health emergencies, and their needs to make informed decisions.

HERoS' objectives are to
- extract, understand and model different co-ordination structures and governance arrangements, determine bottlenecks and develop policies and procedures for efficient information-sharing,
- improve the predictions of the spread by understanding and modelling the impact of local behaviour on the spread of the disease and provide policy advice that considers deep uncertainty,
- improve the management of medical supply chains,
- reduce the impacts of cascading effects across globalised supply chains,
- develop a new method to retrieve actionable information from social media and detect rumours and misinformation early, and to
- develop training modules for epidemics response and disseminate project results to build up a network of early adopters.

HERoS consists of three phases:
1. "Rapid Response" (M1-M6) focuses on crucial aspects of pandemic response. It includes an analysis of governance arrangements in the ongoing COVID-19 response in situ, local behavioural epi-spread models, a gap analysis to secure medical supplies, and COVID-19 misinformation spread analysis.
2. "Evaluation, research & innovation" (M7-30) focuses on lessons learned, changing workflows and methods, fine-tuned behavioural epidemiological models, secure deliveries, and explainability methods on COVID-19 misinformation.
3. "Training and dissemination" combines lessons learned across different aspects of the project, and develops training modules.

This is the second periodic report of the project, which is in the middle of the "Evaluation, research and innovation" phase.
During the first year of the project, HERoS has completed the Rapid Response phase including all its foreseen deliverables and workshops, and has moved on to the "Evaluation, research & innovation" phase.
WP1 ("Governance") By the end of the second year of the HERoS project, WP1 has successfully completed two tasks:
During the second year of the HERoS project, task 1.3 has been completed and resulted in a deliverable (D1.3) that is both a report and a demonstration of the integration of the WHO COVID-19 surveillance requirement to the minimum data set of emergency medical teams (EMTs). The output-driven data-driven minimum data set supplements a monitoring tool, focusing on outcomes, being developed by WHO and piloted during PCPM’s EMT deployment to Uganda. Lessons learned from further deployments will be captured in upcoming tasks.
In parallel, task 1.2 has been ongoing and will result in a lessons learned deliverable by the end of May 2022. This task is coordinated by VU Amsterdam, with contributions from many other project partners that also bring in lessons learned from their WPs. Results from part A of this deliverable (studies in nursing homes) were presented at HNPW 2022. While all project partners are involved in this task, specifically to be mentioned are VU, PCPM, CRI, HAN, and Project HOPE.
WP2 ("Behavioural models in epidemics") Work in WP2 has focused on the combination of results from prior tasks, in the development of coupled models and the analysis of various scenarios. Initial results were presented at HNPW in May 2022, both in terms of further modelling, and a study on elderly care during COVID-19.
WP3 ("Supply chain management") WP3 has completed and submitted various deliverables by the end of the second year of the project. Task 3.1 reported on supply chain disruptions in medical supply chains in D3.1 as reported in the previous interim report. During the second year of the project, the results from D3.1 were integrated into a wider economic analysis for task 3.4 that developed a Methodology for economic impact assessment of supply chain disruptions, as reported in D3.4. The analysis for this task captures cascading effects in the supply chain and visualises the impact of supply chain disruptions across different geographical regions. Results from task 3.1 have been presented at HNPW 2021 and the EURO 2021 conference (July 2021), while initial results from task 3.4 have been presented at EURO HOpe conference in November 2021, and final results at HNPW 2022. The lead partners in Task 3.4 were HAN and CBK, with contributions from all other partners, especially learning from TUD and NHG’s work in WP2.
T3.2 resulted in adapted workflows for drone deliveries to quarantine zones (see D3.2) which lay the foundation to the current work that is ongoing in T3.3 where these workflows will be implemented and a long-range flight with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be simulated. The current status of the simulation has been presented at HNPW 2022. Lead partners in T3.2 and T3.3 are SQU and HAN, with data collected from end users, specifically Project HOPE and PCPM.
WP4 ("Social media analytics")During the second year, WP4 has finalised T4.2 on crowdsourced information clustering. This was reported in D4.2 (M18) and presented at HNPW 2022 and various academic conferences. OU is the lead partner in this task, with contributions from across WPs (esp. TUD and HAN). To date, WP4 focuses on misinformation countering (Task 4.3). Amongst other things, a twitter bot has been developed and reactions to it analysed for the project. All milestones for T4.3 have been reached on time, and work in the task is on time.
WP5 ("Dissemination, communication, training and sustainability") WP5 has been instrumental for dissemination overall. This includes engaging with stakeholders, continuously analysing contact lists and potential gaps in them, maintaining project websites and social media communications etc. Most tasks in this WP are reoccurring and are reported on periodically.
Stakeholder engagement continued during the second year of the project and intensified with some of the sister projects of HERoS, which is also part of T5.4. The contact list underwent another gap analysis as reported in D5.3. Most such reoccurring tasks are led by ART and/or HAN, with contributions from all partners.
Work in all tasks is ongoing at the moment.
The Rapid Response phase of the HERoS project was designed to maximise impact through its end users. A joint webinar was organised to summarise all results and policy recommendations from the Rapid Response phase, and has impacted on the EU’s decision to look at ICU capacities across EU borders.

HERoS will generate a multi-layered governance framework for the analysis of governance mechanisms, decision-making processes and sensemaking processes, to ensure the development of robust policies for combatting epidemic outbreaks. An agent-based model is developed to consider the impact of local population structures and behaviour on epi-spread. This is coupled with a network model based on system dynamics, to assess the spread across globalised networks. HERoS analyses medical supply chains for supporting pandemic response by improving the security of supply of critical items. HERoS also develops of tools to track Covid-19 misinformation content and spread on social media using legitimate assessments from fact-checkers. First training modules have been developed already; more trainings and conferences are organised towards the end of the project.
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HERoS work packages and their interrelation