Launch of the Franco-German AIOLOS project, a platform for detecting epidemics due to respiratory viruses

The objective of AIOLOS, a real-time multi-source data collection platform, based on AI and predictive modeling, is to detect an epidemic linked to a respiratory pathogen at the first signs, monitor its progression, take appropriate measures and assess their impact. This project, led by Sanofi in France and Fraunhofer in Germany, in partnership with CompuGroup Medical, Quinten Health, Impact Healthcare and Umlau, a subsidiary of Accenture, received the approval of the French and German governments on May 5 and is therefore launched..

The whole world was stunned by the magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic and found itself powerless to respond to it. Managing such epidemics requires the use of resilient and multi-stakeholder surveillance systems, such as the AIOLOS platform.

AIOLOS, a response to the Franco-German call for AI projects

On February 3, 2021, the French and German Ministries of Economy launched an APP to “Boosting the offer of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for risk prevention, crisis management and resilience in three areas of application”, one of them concerned health and in particular the detection of epidemics. AIOLOS meets its requirements for consortia: be bi-national, involve at least one research organization and one company and present a total budget of at least 4 million euros.

A consortium involving at least one company and one research organization

The consortium is led by the company Sanofi in France and the applied research organization Fraunhofer in Germany.

Established in 1949, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has 76 institutes and research units throughout Germany and more than 30,000 employees, mostly scientists and engineers. The two institutes participating in the AIOLOS project, Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology (ITMP) and Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI), combine expertise in medical data science and computer science and focus, among other things, on the development of algorithms.

Dr. AimoKannt, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP, explains:

“AIOLOS is a great opportunity to integrate different types of data from various sources, to improve our understanding and our response strategy to new epidemics. It is important to note that respiratory pathogens do not stop at national borders, which is why French and German partners are joining forces and combining their skills and capacities to better prepare for future epidemics. »

Sanofi and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will have as partners CompuGroup Medical, one of the German leaders in e-health, Quinten Health, a Parisian company specializing in real-life data, Impact Healthcare, a Paris-based consulting firm specializing in the management strategic and operational of innovative projects in digital health and in the use of health data, as well as Umlaut, a subsidiary of Accenture, provider of consulting, support and engineering services.

Other public or private actors are associated with this project, they will bring their scientific and technical expertise and will be able to make their data available.

Funding

AIOLOS has obtained, on the French side, the support of the France 2030 Investment Plan and on the German side, that of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action in Germany, within the framework of the Franco-German call for projects relating to the use of artificial intelligence technologies for risk prevention, crisis management and resilience.

A prototype of the platform, initially targeting France and Germany, will be proposed within two years at the latest. This solution will then be extended to Europe, thus supporting the mission carried out by the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, HERA.

On the other hand, the consortium will be able to cooperate with the Global Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, launched by the WHO in Berlin, but also with other key players in this field at the global level.

Dr. Cédric Mahé, Associate Vice-President and Global Head of the Modeling, Epidemiology and Data Science department within Sanofi’s vaccines entity in Lyon, concludes:

“The AIOLOS project will establish a framework for the analysis of real-life data, based on both artificial intelligence and the modeling of infectious diseases. The ambition is to propose a common analysis grid of plausible epidemic scenarios, an essential precondition for the construction of a resilient model. The project will not be conducted in isolation, but will build on the many ongoing efforts around the world to strengthen preparedness measures for future pandemics. This platform should have a strong positive impact on health
public but also in various sectors of the economy. »

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Launch of the Franco-German AIOLOS project, a platform for detecting epidemics due to respiratory viruses


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