Regional Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Simulations - RIDES<br>&nbsp;

Doctor wearing highly protective suit and holding globe in her hands
Pandemics require global coordination hocus-focus

Our research concerns epidemiological data and information processing in connection with infectious disease outbreaks at local and regional level. An infrastructure has been continuously developed and is being used during the covid-19 pandemic for simulations, visualisations, and regional short-term healthcare need forecasts.

The point of departure for the research at RIDES is that rational decision-making during serious infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics cannot be based on individual analyses or statements by individual experts. Nor can national recommendations always be applied at the local level. During pandemics, healthcare needs an information infrastructure that is globally rooted and that at the national and local levels supports the monitoring of the spread of infection and the planning of measures without disrupting the day-to-day care operations. Reliable pandemic information is a basis for the ability of society and healthcare to limit the consequences of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic.

The rapid development of pandemics requires that information management is well prepared in advance. The use of healthcare information infrastructure during pandemics requires consistency in concepts and structures for rapid and reliable present-day analyses and in order to be able to comment on an ongoing pandemic course with evidence-based evidence. Today, it is unclear to what extent local and regional health care organisations have been prepared for the pandemic situation. The infrastructure that has been developed within the collaboration between Linköping University and Region Östergötland is not a replacement but a complement to the information resources available at global, national and government levels.

The research group RIDES (Regional Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Simulations) coordinated at Linköping University has been active since 2005 in collaboration with Region Östergötland with support from the Swedish Research Council, MSB and Vinnova.

Research Group


County Council of Östergötland

  • Reidar Källström, chief physician and doctor of medical science at the health management, Region Östergötland
  • Joakim Ekberg, Health Strategist and Doctor of Medical Science at the Health Care Unit, Region Östergötland
  • Erik Onelöv, statistician and object specialist at the BI unit, Region Östergötland

National collaboration

  • Anna Jöud, epidemiologist and associate professor at the Department of Research and Education, University of Skåne, Region Skåne
  • Bo Bernhardsson, professor at the department of automatic control, Lunds University
  • Carl-Johan Fraenkel, chief physician and doctor of medical science at the infectious clinic, Skåne University Hospital, and health care, Region Skåne




  1. Timpka T, Eriksson H, Gursky EA, et al. Requirements and design of the PROSPER protocol for implementation of information infrastructures supporting pandemic response: a Nominal Group study. PLoS One. 2011;6(3):e17941.
  2. Eriksson H, Morin M, Jenvald J, Gursky E, Holm E, Timpka T. Ontology based modeling of pandemic simulation scenarios. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2007;129(Pt 1):755-9.
  3. Timpka T, Eriksson H, Gursky EA, Nyce JM, Morin M, Jenvald J, Strömgren M, Holm E, Ekberg J. Population-based simulations of influenza pandemics: validity and significance for public health policy. Bull World Health Organ. 2009 Apr;87(4):305-11.
  4. Karlsson D, Ekberg J, Spreco A, Eriksson H, Timpka T. Visualization of infectious disease outbreaks in routine practice. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2013;192:697-701.
  5. Timpka T, Spreco A, Eriksson O, Dahlström Ö, Gursky EA, Strömgren M, Holm E, Ekberg J, Hinkula J, Nyce JM, Eriksson H. Predictive performance of telenursing complaints in influenza surveillance: a prospective cohort study in Sweden. Euro Surveill. 2014 Nov 20;19(46). pii: 20966.
  6. Spreco A, Eriksson O, Dahlström Ö, Cowling BJ, Timpka T. Integrated Detection and Prediction of Influenza Activity for Real-Time Surveillance: Algorithm Design. J Med Internet Res. 2017 Jun 15;19(6):e211. doi: 10.2196/jmir.7101.
  7. Spreco A, Eriksson O, Dahlström Ö, Cowling BJ, Timpka T. Evaluation of Nowcasting for Detecting and Predicting Local Influenza Epidemics, Sweden, 2009-2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018;24(10):1868–1873.
  8. Timpka T, Spreco A, Eriksson H, Onelöv E, Dahlström Ö, Ekberg J, Fraenkel CJ, Jöud A, Källström R. Tillförlitlig information grunden för åtgärder under pandemi. Läkartidningen 7 april 2020. Available at (in Swedish only)
  9. Timpka, T. et al, Requirements and Design of the PROSPER Protocol for Implementation of Information Infrastructures Supporting Pandemic Response: A Nominal Group Study PLOS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, nr 3, s. 0017941-