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UT Austin COVID-19 Modelling Consortium: Producing mortality projections for US States and Metropolitan Areasby analysing mobile phone data


The UT Austin COVID-19 Modelling Consortium produces mortality projections for US States and metropolitan areas and updates these on a daily basis. In contrast with other US mortality predictions, this approach includes GPS data derived from mobile phones to incorporate the effects of social distancing measurements to “flatten the curve”. In doing so, the research team considers visitation patterns to various points of interest, such as colleges, grocery stores, pharmacies, museums, restaurants, and bars. All data are analysed on an anonymized, aggregated level.


The key results of the COVID-19 Modelling Consortium are the daily updated graphs online, showing the predicted development of the mortality rates in the US and its states and metropolitan areas. In addition to the range predicted, the graphs also display the chances that the peak of COVID-19-related death cases has already passed or will pass in the future. Overall, this project demonstrates that mobile phone data can be usedto measure the effects of social distancing measurements in response to COVID-19, and to inform complex models that aim to predict the development of the mortality rate. However, the current projection models only minclude the first waves of infections and would need to be updated and revised in the case of a second wave were to start.Image: © UT Austin.


(Picture: ©UT Austin)

Last modified
26 May 2021