[Chapel Hill, NC, February 11, 2021] North Carolina public officials face unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. A new predictive analytics tool has been built to support their decisions. Balancing the health and economic recovery of our communities with the opinions, concerns and preferences of North Carolina’s residents was previously a near-impossible task. The new Community Confidence application led by the nonprofit Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT), presents a novel approach to helping officials strike the delicate balance between economic recovery and community health, with actual guidance from our state’s residents.
Through a grant from the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory, and in partnership with decision science experts from Choiceflows, DHIT conducted a systematic “choice experiment” to reveal how North Carolinians across the state make tradeoffs in the current pandemic environment. Ultimately, this systematic approach enables users of the Community Confidence application to understand the public’s feelings about balancing an acceptable number of COVID-19 cases within their communities against increasingly returning to pre-pandemic levels of restaurant dining, in-person work, and a number of other key economic activities.
Because the data generated from the North Carolina choice experiment seamlessly integrates with other DHIT-developed COVID-19 predictive models, the Community Confidence application supports the simulation of various policy decisions. This means the user is able to identify the potential drivers of concern in their community, explicitly evaluate the confidence their community is likely to have in a decision they are considering, and weigh side-by-side the health implications and community reaction.
“In our research we’ve seen many amazing analytics tools to support our understanding of the pandemic, but what we didn’t see was the ability to truly engage the members of our communities, to add the context of how people feel into these critical health and economic decisions,” says Michael Levy, DHIT CEO. “That’s what we’ve added – the human element – to the hard science of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Our collaboration with DHIT produced remarkable results,” says Kevin Clark, Choiceflows CEO. “The pandemic choice model created to inform the Community Confidence application is an exemplar in Best-Worst Scaling developed by the celebrated Dr. Jordan Louviere, our COO, and co-designed and administered by Choiceflows Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Carson.”
DHIT’s Community Confidence application launched in December with initial support for seven North Carolina counties, but the system was built to serve all of North Carolina and beyond.
The Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education and research institute supporting communities through the process of digital health transformation. We collaborate with leading academic institutions, associations, and industry to cultivate talent and ecosystems with our immersive learning platform, harnessing real-world experiences that drive the adoption of next generation skills, emerging technologies, and mindsets needed to foster the digital health leaders and innovators of the future, today. For more information, visit dhitglobal.org. For more information about Community Confidence, visit: communityconfidence.org.
Choiceflows is testing what’s next for senior executive decisions and offering development portfolios. Choiceflows is founded by the pioneers in choice experiments, customer selection, and market behavior – including the inventor of Best-Worst Scaling, co-creation of Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE) and most recently Volumetric Choice Experiments (VCE) and Customer-Company Alignment (CC-Align). For more information, visit www.choiceflows.com
ABOUT THE NC POLICY COLLABORATORY
The Collaboratory was established in the summer of 2016 by the North Carolina General Assembly for the purposes of facilitating the dissemination of the policy and research expertise of the University of North Carolina System and other institutions of higher learning across the State for practical use by state and local government. The Collaboratory develops and disseminates relevant best practices to interested parties, leads and participates in projects across the State related to natural resource management, and makes recommendations to the General Assembly.