Every new infectious or unknown disease outbreak is a threat point, and any uncontrolled spread can lead to half of the earth’s population being wiped out. It was 2 years back when the experts from diseases control started preparing for the sudden outbreak of deadly diseases that can spread fast across due to today’s modern transportation till the other end of the globe.
On January 9, the WHO (World Health Organization) had notified about the public of flu-like outbreak in China. A rise in an unknown type of pneumonia was reported in the Wuhan District. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued an alert just a few days ahead of it but the Canadian health monitoring platform had beaten them both, sending the warning early on December 31.
The challenge, however, was to contain the outbreak in a region so it can be dealt with. The Chinese authorities were already tight-lipped about the outbreak, therefore other communities couldn’t gain insight about the disease outbreak.
BlueDot, a geofencing software company, uses an AI-driven algorithm that analyzes several foreign-language news reports, animals, and plant disease networks, and the added official proclamations to caution clients and give them the official warning about the disease outbreak.
The first aspect of managing the outbreak of the disease is to get the data about the outbreak and how it will spread across the region. Kamran Khan, Founder of BlueDot, said in a statement that the governments usually provide data that is delayed to contain any outbreak. The company usually picks the information from the forums and blogs about whether any unusual event is going on. They don’t refer to social media data because it’s too messy. The companies’ algorithm accesses the global airline ticking platforms aiding the company in predicting where and when the infected regions residents are traveling next.
The algorithm had predicted initially that the virus is all set to jump from Wuhan to other regions like Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, and Bangkok since its first appearance.
BlueDot was launched in 2014 and has raised close to $9.4 million in venture capital funding, and the company now has 40 employees-physicians and programmers who are always looking for a way to improve the algorithm for prediction. The diseases algorithm relies on machine learning techniques and natural-language processing to understand news reports in more than 65 languages.