COVID-19 modelling by time-varying transmission rate associated with mobility trend of driving via Apple Maps

Min Jing, Kok Yew Ng, Brian Mac Namee, Pardis Biglarbeigi, Rob Brisk, RR Bond, D Finlay, James McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Compartment-based infectious disease models that consider the transmission rate (or contact rate) as a constant during the course of an epidemic can be limiting regarding effective capture of the dynamics of infectious disease. This study proposed a novel approach based on a dynamic time-varying transmission rate with a control rate governing the speed of disease spread, which may be associated with the information related to infectious disease intervention. Integration of multiple sources of data with disease modelling has the potential to improve modelling performance. Taking the global mobility trend of vehicle driving available via Apple Maps as an example, this study explored different ways of processing the mobility trend data and investigated their relationship with the control rate. The proposed method was evaluated based on COVID-19 data from six European countries. The results suggest that the proposed model with dynamic transmission rate improved the performance of model fitting and forecasting during the early stage of the pandemic. Positive correlation has been found between the average daily change of mobility trend and control rate. The results encourage further development for incorporation of multiple resources into infectious disease modelling in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103905
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Early online date2 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is carried out under the project of Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre (ECME) and funded by the European Unions INTERREG VA Programme (Grant ID:IVA5034), managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Data integration
  • Dynamic transmission rate
  • Infectious disease modelling
  • Mobility trend


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