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FAMU Epidemiologist Talks Predictive Models, And Why They Should Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt

Dr. C. Perry Brown
Dr. C. Perry Brown
Dr. C. Perry Brown
Credit Special to WFSU
Dr. C. Perry Brown

Last week, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare published predictive models regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region. The “most likely” model predicts 361 daily hospital admission, peaking at the end of May. Its best case, nearly 230 admissions per day in mid-June. (Both models are pictured at the bottom of this story)

Dr. C. Perry Brown, professor of epidemiology at Florida A&M University’s Institute of Public Health, is on a board that assists the Florida Department of Health with its modeling. He spoke with WFSU's Ryan Dailey about modeling – and why every predictive model should be taken with a grain of salt.

Questions, with timestamps:

0:20 - You’ve looked over the TMH models – what can you tell us about how those were drawn up?

2:03 - Is there a reason why, as a hospital, you would want to find a worst case?

2:36  - Could you explain your involvement with the Department of Health, and how their modeling process works?

4:00 - You made the statement, “All models are wrong” – what do you mean by that?

This predictive model, run by University of Pennsylvania Medical School, shows a possible "best case" scenario of hospitalizations at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TMH published the models Thursday, April 9, 2020
Credit Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
This predictive model, run by University of Pennsylvania Medical School, shows a possible "best case" scenario of hospitalizations at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TMH published the models Thursday, April 9, 2020

This predictive model, run by University of Pennsylvania Medical School, shows a "most likely" scenario of hospitalizations at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TMH published the models Thursday, April 9, 2020
Credit Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
This predictive model, run by University of Pennsylvania Medical School, shows a "most likely" scenario of hospitalizations at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TMH published the models Thursday, April 9, 2020

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