On January 31, 2021, with guidance, peer-review and input from colleagues from RIWI (Shaelyn Laurie and Alton Ing), the University of Toronto (Prof. and Dean Adalsteinn D. Brown of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health), Emory University (Prof. Jim Lavery) and Simon Fraser University (Prof. Diane Finegood), RIWI CEO and public health researcher Neil Seeman authored a hypothesis for the 2021 Sternfels Prize Awards Committee. Neil’s team was a Top 30 Finalist team for this year’s Sternfels prize.
Neil’s team invented a proposal and hypothesis that Neil calls “Inclusivity 2.0” – i.e., how to use online self-reports from everywhere in the world to understand, in real-time, the experiences and concerns that patients and caregivers express in relation to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to protect against infection from Covid-19, or serious adverse consequences or death resulting from the disease.
Neil and his co-authors write: “New, inclusive approaches are needed to explore the effects on health of experiences in the real world. Importantly, information from many different sources increases confidence in the data that are collected.” Their novel approach is structured and systematic and deploys three different online signals in a manner that seeks to expand the number of people who safely receive a Covid-19 vaccine, and the number of people who acquire confidence in vaccines in general.
The Sternfels Prize was created to reduce the risk associated with the real-world use of pharmaceuticals. The purpose of the prize is to incentivize pharmacologists, pharmacists, medical practitioners, academics, and students to think about ways to reduce the real-world risks patients face from polypharmacy, interacting co-morbidities, and genetic variations.
The title of Neil’s team’s submission for the 2021 Sternfels Prize award is: “Using online patient, clinician and caregiver conversations, domain name analytics, and random domain intercept opinion data to assess contraindication between monoclonal antibody treatments and SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations across the world in real-time.”