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Neura’s ViruScore brings behavioral intelligence to the forefront of predictive pool testing

ViruScore™ synthesizes epidemiological and behavior data fusing these insights with machine learning technology to dramatically impact the ability to test populations based on their virus risk scores. Increasing testing capacity while saving time and money. 

Background

In today’s current climate, entire countries are going in and out of varying degrees of lockdown with strict restrictions on travel, local movement, commercial business operations, workplace function, educational institutions, and all aspects of everyday life, creating drastic implications for individuals' livelihoods, wellbeing, as well as full country economic functions.

The current status for controlling the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve of coronavirus varies greatly depending on individual municipalities, states, and countries at large. Resources are available for testing, but in some instances, in limited capacities.

Testing is an integral part of monitoring and controlling the spread of coronavirus, and ensuring that people who are infected with coronavirus, whether asymptomatic or not, are identified so that the appropriate measures can be taken to stop the chain of infection.

Large scale testing is an essential aspect of effective COVID-19 containment - screening cases, identifying new outbreak zones, and acting on them in real-time, in order to prevent outbreaks in the future. As more COVID-19 positive patients are identified and isolated accordingly, the quicker people and communities at large can return to work and school.

Challenge

Individual testing on a global scale means that hundreds of millions of tests are needed to curb the spread of coronavirus. Testing requires an abundance of resources, both in material for the test kits as well as medical personnel for administering and reviewing kits. In order to mitigate the high cost and demand for additional resources, innovative data-driven solutions are needed.

Currently, testing centers operate largely at full capacity, some with long waits just to get tested. Additionally, the processing of test kits can occur with tremendous delays due to the sheer volume of kits to be tested. As people wait for their test results, the virus can spread with a snowball like effect greatly impacting the ability for containment and effective monitoring measures. Testing people one by one requires an abundance of resources and time. Grouping test tubes into bins without insight or intelligence on risk score is impossible for accurate predictions rending pool testing inefficient. Thus, Neura provides a unique solution with behavior intelligence so that each tube can be marked with the appropriate risk score so that they can be allocated to the right bins for efficient pool testing.

As coronavirus continues to rage across the world, it’s increasingly important to be able to test as many people as possible and as fast as possible to slow the spread. Testing is a huge proponent in the ability to properly track, monitor, and effectively control the spread of COVID-19.

Taking Action

First Steps

 

In order to help increase efficiency and the speed in which people can be tested, Neura worked with one of the largest HMOs in the world, in addition to other health organizations to systematically group people based on their risk of having COVID-19. We do this by merging epidemiological and behavior data to map transmission hotspots and build a model for assigning a risk score to each test in order to allocate them to the appropriate bin. Neura looks at parameters such as the rate of human encounters and social distancing adherence, high transmission areas, crowd gathering, and infection rates, to create accurate models for low and high probability of COVID-19.

 

Neura uses behavior intelligence to sort tests into proper bins so that HMOs and Labs know which test tube should go to which bin – assigning a risk score accordingly based intelligent insights. Neura can take samples from a population that may have a 12% positive infection rate per bin, and correctly sort the test kits into bins so that the majority of the bins have a less than 2% positive infection rate – a necessary prerequisite for pool testing.

 

Batching Explained

 

In short, pool testing is grouping a number of samples together in the same “batch”, also called a “pooled sample”, and then using one test kit per batch. By pooling samples together that are likely to be negative for coronavirus, more people can be tested using the same amount of resources.

 

Instead of using one test per person, and testing each individual separately, pooling allows for anywhere from four to thirty-two people to be tested with one testing kit.

 

If the result comes back negative, all individuals tested in the batch are negative for coronavirus, if it comes back positive, then the samples have to be re-tested, to determine the infected patient. Through pool testing, groups of people can be tested for coronavirus greatly speeding up the process and helping to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19.

 

Behavioral Intelligence as the Future of Virus Protection

 

“Neura’s solution is a significant leap forward for the deployment of behavioral-intelligence tech in the fight against COVID-19. By being able to separate high and low-risk groups, future outbreaks, and behavioral Super-Spreaders is crucial to government efforts to fight the virus. With the recent FDA approval of COVID-19 test pooling, Neura’s insights will go even further in helping to slow and break down the chain of infection.” said Neura’s CEO, Amit Hammer.

Results

98%

Predicting Accuracy

Neura had 98% accuracy when predicting negative results for inclusion in pooled testing bins.


6x+

Increase in Testing Capacity

Neura enabled efficient pool testing by accurately predicting which bins to allocate tests. This resulted in a less than 2% positive infection rate per bin (as opposed to 12% without Neura’s predictive model). Neura took samples from a population that had 12% positive infection and sorted these tests into select bins to for pooling so that each bin was less than 2% positive infection. Only by batching the negatives together, can you achieve a 6x increase in efficiency. The only way to batch the negatives together, is by allocating a predictive score, indicating which tests are negative.



Create an Optimal Environment for Pool Testing Cutting the Chain of Infection and Saving Lives

Neura empowers organizations to drive strategic, data-driven decisions based on large scale human behavior and activity signals. Its Behavior Intelligence Platform transforms vast amounts of anonymized data into actionable, impactful and monetizable insights based on population behavior and lifestyle.