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Overview of RealOpt© Software Enterprise

RealOpt© is a software enterprise system developed by Dr. Eva Lee and her research team at the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare, School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. RealOpt© consists of various decision support capabilities for modeling and optimizing the public health infrastructure for all hazard emergency response, and has been used in the areas of biological or radiological terrorism preparedness, infectious disease outbreaks planning, and natural disasters response. The enterprise system consists of stand-alone software and decision support systems, including RealOpt-POD©, RealOpt-Regional©, RealOpt-CRC©, RealOpt-RSS© , and RealOpt-evacuate©. An agent-based biosurveillance and disease mitigation module is integrated within the RealOpt-POD© and RealOpt-Regional© systems.

RealOpt© was developed with guidance and funds from the Division of Strategic National Stockpile at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The real-time capability of RealOpt© means that users can enter different parameters into the system and obtain results very quickly. This rapid computational time of RealOpt© facilitates analysis of "what-if" scenarios, thus it serves as an invaluable tool for planning and reconfigurations.

RealOpt-POD© couples large-scale simulation and fast optimization routines into one decision support system for real-time resource allocation within medical facilities. The design of RealOpt-POD© directly addresses some of the computational bottlenecks of commercial software. RealOpt-POD© offers public health emergency coordinators the capability to:

  • Design customized and efficient point-of-dispensing (POD) floorplans for regional needs via an automatic graph-drawing tool. Users can design and compare various floor plans to determine the tradeoffs in personnel usage as well as operations efficiency.
  • Determine optimal labor resources required and provide the most-efficient placement of staff at individual stations within the facility. The resulting staffing plans maximize the number of individuals who can be treated, minimize the average time individuals spend in the clinic, and equalize utilization across clinic stations.
  • Perform disease propagation analysis, understand and monitor the intra-facility disease dilemma, and help to derive dynamic response strategies to mitigate propagation, thus lowering the necessity of individuals requiring hospital treatment and mitigating potential casualties.
  • Assess current resources and determine minimum needs to prepare for readiness in emergency situations for the regional population.
  • Carry out large-scale virtual drills, investigate alternative strategies for POD design and operation, and analyze their performance.
  • Train personnel, and design emergency exercises with a variety of dispensing scenarios. Such training and drill exercises could be used to quickly get new emergency preparedness directors/coordinators up to speed, and to keep existing planners sharp.

RealOpt-Regional© is an interactive online software enterprise for large-scale regional medical dispensing and emergency preparedness. It features interactive visualization tools to assist with spatial understanding of important landmarks in the region, assess the population densities and demographic makeup of the region, and identify potential facility locations. It also features backend mathematical models for large-scale facility location problems; a backend novel and rapid solution engine for strategic and operational planning and real-time dynamic optimization, and a multi-level end-user login webportal.

The multi-level end-user login capability of RealOpt-Regional© allows granting different authorization levels to users. For example, emergency preparedness and response directors have different privileges than individual households and citizens. Specifically, public health emergency preparedness directors are able to:

  • Determine a network of optimal dispensing locations and the optimal combination of dispensing modalities for regional preparedness.
  • Analyze the adequacy of existing resources over a broad geographic region, identify region-wide budget and labor needs to accommodate an emergency situation, and determine recruitment needs of healthcare workers and volunteers.
  • Perform economic model analysis on multi-modality variations for optimal and cost-effective regional response strategies.
  • Determine in real-time a re-supply schedule for medical countermeasures across the network of dispensing sites through real-time feed of throughputs.
  • Determine the closest and feasible traffic routes to transport sick individuals from PODs to respective hospitals for treatment.

RealOpt-Regional© allows public users to:

  • Locate the nearest facility for acquiring medical countermeasures.
  • Determine feasible traffic routes to access this facility.
  • Review relevant information related to the specific medical countermeasures dispensed.

RealOpt-CRC© is a software module designed for radiological population monitoring puposes. RealOpt-CRC© couples graphic-drawing tools, large-scale simulation and fast optimization routines into a decision support system for real-time resource allocation for establishment of community reception centers for population monitoring within the context of radiological emergency planning and response. RealOpt-CRC© shares many key components as in RealOpt-POD©, with added components to deal with radiological screening and decontamination logistics.

RealOpt-CDC© was developed with guidance and funding support from the Radiation Studies Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards & Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health at CDC. A key requirement for population monitoring involves the setting up of community reception centers that run efficiently. Within these centers, individuals will be assessed for presence of contamination on body or clothing, and for intake of radioactive materials. Removal of external and/or internal contamination (decontamination) must be carried out, and radiation dose received and risk of health effects must be assessed. Registration will be performed to facilitate long-term health effects monitoring.

With some features similar to RealOpt-POD©, RealOpt-CRC© allows emergency planners to
  • Design customized and efficient community reception center floor plans for regional needs via an automatic graph-drawing tool. Users can design and compare various floor plans to determine the tradeoffs in personnel usage as well as operations efficiency.
  • Determine optimal labor resources and detection instruments required, and provide the most-efficient placement of staff at individual stations within the facility. The resulting staffing plans maximize the number of individuals who can be treated, minimize the number of detectors required, minimize the average time patients spend in the clinic, and equalize utilization across clinic stations.
  • Determine the best operations performance under a given resource limitation (e.g., limits on available detection instruments, limits on personnel availability), and determine the number of centers and number of shifts needed to complete the screening for the affected population.
  • Assess current resources and determine minimum needs to prepare for population monitoring for the affected regional population.
  • Carry out large-scale virtual drills, investigate alternative strategies for community reception center design and operation, and analyze their performance.
  • Train personnel, and design emergency exercises with a variety of screening scenarios. Such training and drill exercises could be used to quickly get new emergency preparedness directors/coordinators up to speed, and to keep existing planners sharp.
We include below a training film prepared by the Radiation Studies Branch, Division of Environmental Hazards & Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health at CDC.

RealOpt-RSS© is a software modeling, simulation and optimization tool for the efficient management of the logistics of Receipt, Stage and Storage (RSS) facilities and Regional Distribution Nodes (RDN) for medical countermeasures. RealOpt-RSS© assists in planning quick and efficient strategies for processing medicines and/or equipment from the receiving point of the RSS to RSS vehicles for delivery. The software includes a warehouse design module, and specific computational modules related to the RSS facility, material handling equipment, staffing, and site configuration.

Copyright Notice

Copyright© 2003 - 2016. RealOpt© and its documentation are copyrighted with all rights reserved by the authors, Lee, and her research team, and Georgia Institute of Technology. No parts of this manual can be reproduced without consent of the authors.