IPaT Faculty Share COVID-19 Insights and Expertise

image of corona virus

Optimizing the Supply Chain

In a natural disaster or health emergency, shortages in food and medical supplies are the result of an imbalance in supply and demand. With the goal of better matching vaccine supply to demand, Georgia Tech's Pinar Keskinocak, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering is studying a new strategy where limited vaccine inventory is distributed equally to regions that experience a positive uptake rate.

Related coverage:

Coronavirus' health-care capacity gut check: We need to radically ramp up facilities in America (NY Daily News)

In 'coronapocalypse' the worst shortages could be deadly (The Hill)


Climate Change Lessons

Climate scientists are calling out inaction in the global response to climate change, and drawing parallels as a "cautionary tale" in slowing down the coronavirus pandemic. "Both [coronavirus and climate change] demand early aggressive action to minimize loss," said Kim Cobb, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Related coverage:

Climate Change Has Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus (The New York Times)


Moving a Major Academic Conference Online

For the first time in its 26-year history, IEEE VR, a conference that examines the latest research and advancements in virtual reality (VR) took place entirely online. The entire 2020 event convened in Mozilla Hubs, an online platform for remote virtual experiences (Lead researcher: Blair MacIntyre, School of Interactive Computing). Georgia Tech researchers (Maribeth Gandy Coleman and Laura Levy, Interactive Media Technology Center) also launched a study during IEEE VR to look at social VR and the conference experience.

Related coverage:

Georgia Tech Professor Uses Virtual Reality to Move Major Academic Conference Online (Georgia Tech)


Protecting Health Care Workers

Georgia Tech's Jennifer DuBose and Craig Zimring (School of Architecture, SimTigrate Design Lab), in collaboration with the Emory University School of Medicine, are studying how the physical environment can make it safer for health care workers to don and doff (put on and take off) personal protective equipment (PPE) required for working with patients with infectious diseases. SimTigrate Design Lab is also designing safer and more efficient biocontainment units (BCU), recently sharing their work with Chinese healthcare designers and hospital administrators.

Related coverage:

Design Strategies for Biocontainment Units: Creating Safer Environments (LinkedIn)


Empowering People Living With Mild Cognitive Impairment

The Cognitive Empowerment Program is a joint effort between Emory University’s Brain Health Center and Georgia Tech (Lead researchers: Jennifer DuBose and Craig Zimring, School of Architecture and SimTigrate Design Lab; Beth Mynatt, Institute for People and Technology) to empower people living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a distinct decline in thinking. Due to concerns about COVID-19, the Cognitive Empowerment Program has suspended in-person programming at 6 Executive Park in Atlanta and will now provide virtual programming to complement smart home technologies and a tablet application that are currently part of the program.

Related coverage:

Georgia Tech and Emory University Partner on Mild Cognitive Empowerment Program (Georgia Tech)

Vaccine (source: CDC)
Image shows a lab technician in Emory’s Serious Communicable Diseases Unit laboratory, with a team member watching from the outside for safety purposes. (Credit: Jack Kearse, Emory Health Sciences Photography)
CEP Executive Park
More than 1,800 attendees for an IEEE virtual reality conference scheduled for Atlanta are holding their conference online.