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Congratulations to Dominik Dietler!

Associate researcher Dominik Dietler has, thanks to Epihealth seed money, been granted postdoc funding for himself from MSB (The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) over 1.9M SEK and 1.2M SEK from eSSENCE@LU to hire an additional postdoc.


What difference did the seed money make for you? And what will you do with the granted money?

– The EpiHealth seed money helped me to set time aside to start working with the mobility data. These experiences allowed me to understand the potential of the data to be used in these upcoming projects. 

Apart from myself working on these studies, we will hire a postdoc to join the Epi@Lund research group. We can make use of the diverse expertise within the group and use our extensive network of collaborators to achieve our objectives.

What is your project about?

– The aim of the projects is to test new approaches to more rapidly and accurately identify, monitor, and manage health risks in society, such as a pandemic disease. Through a collaboration with SWECOV, we can make use of an internationally unique dataset that combines individual-level data on symptoms reported to a telephone counselling hotline (”1177”) linked to other health and socio-demographic data for the entire Swedish population. In addition, aggregated mobility data from mobile operators (Telia) and credit card statements (Swedbank) are incorporated in the dataset.

What is the novelty in this?

– The main innovation of the project is that we can combine syndromic surveillance data from the telephone counselling hotline with individual-level data on pre-existing conditions and subsequent health outcomes. These data we aim to use for identifying unusual patterns in health counselling contacts to 1177 that may signal an emerging health risk. Such a method could be applicable beyond the pandemic setting, for example disasters linked to climate change or outbreaks of water-born diseases.

Another distinctive characteristic of our projects is that we have mobility data that we plan to use for modelling the spread of an infectious disease over time. Such a model can provide information on the likely introduction and further spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Sweden and can be used to assess the effectiveness of different public health measures.