With countries across the world strengthening hospitals’ response to the surge in patients requiring critical care during the COVID-19 crisis, the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) at Imperial College London has launched a new digital tool that helps hospitals and public health services manage critical capacity more effectively, enabling them to meet the increased demand.

Developed by researchers from the Jameel Institute, the tool — called the J-IDEA Pandemic Hospital Planner — can calculate the capacity of beds, staff and ventilator equipment when implementing a number of health care provision interventions, such as canceling elective surgeries and converting operating theaters to critical care wards. The planner also allows hospital management to calculate the number of additional staff members required to fully operationalize additional beds, including if upskilling and reskilling workers and deploying newly qualified and final year medical students are required.

Dr. Katharina Hauck, deputy director of the Jameel Institute, who led the work, said: “Some countries are facing a surge in patients requiring urgent lifesaving care. The J-IDEA Pandemic Hospital Planner gives practical support to decision-makers in preparing hospitals for this difficult task, so they can hopefully save as many lives as possible with the given resources.”

The planner is publicly available for health services around the world, and is interactive and adaptable to different and changing circumstances and newly emerging evidence. Hospital managers can access the tool via the Jameel Institute website.

Co-founded in 2019 by Imperial College and Community Jameel, a global philanthropy, the Jameel Institute is Imperial’s disease outbreak center and draws together experts in data analytics, epidemiology and economics to combat the threat of diseases and health emergencies in the most vulnerable populations across the globe.

Community Jameel is supporting the response to COVID-19 on a number of fronts, including through the Abdul Latif Jameel Hospital in Jeddah; the Jameel Clinic at MIT, which is using machine learning to discover new therapies to treat the virus; Bab Rizq Jameel, which launched new initiatives supporting small businesses and people seeking employment; and Art Jameel, which is supporting creatives in the Middle East and North Africa region through its Research and Practice Platform.

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