Back End

The Back End is for professional health researchers and the curious who are well educated on disease dynamics, sexual demographics, and STDs.  Here all of the guts are exposed and the researcher will find places where they can tamper with assumptions and estimates of all factors to see how they affect transmission rates.  There will also be population-level projections of disease prevalence based on known behavioral demographics in the population.

All assumptions and estimates in the guts will be documented, so researchers know what studies they came out of and when they were basically pulled from thin air. Part of the purpose of the project is to expose these places where we need to make these kinds of guesses to actually get to a probability estimate.

This has the potential to be a very important collaborative tool for researchers.  It will help point out the most important holes in research both in terms of scientific understanding and health impacts.  Individual researchers will then also be able to use the tool in order to assess, before engaging in a study, what the relative health impacts of having this information will be, which could be very useful for effective funding allocation.

More advance versions of the back end will eventually be able to act as scenario evaluators, simulating the effects of  different educational programs, changes in religious or social ideology, new medications, or other social or disease dynamics on the spread or elimination of STDs.  This could combine simple epidemiology models with social learning and social network models.

It also has the potential to help not only shape the subject of study, but also study design, as it would help determine how much variance in estimated parameters is important, as opposed to just mean estimates.