On December 31, a Canadian AI software that tracks multiple data sources to detect disease spread warned about the coronavirus epidemic.
How did AI detect the outbreak of coronavirus?
The Canadian company BlueDot has several software products that are capable of anticipating epidemics. BlueDot detected a possible outbreak of Wuhan virus infection on December 31, based on the analysis of multiple data sources on the internet. These sources go through information from the media, institutions, databases on animal or plant diseases and even comments posted on forums.
BlueDot was also right, from the traffic data of people travelling by plane, where the virus could spread in the early days to Bangkok, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo. So the clients of this company, usually governments or health institutions, knew in advance that something was happening in Wuhan. They even had information that the outbreak could be in a market where live animals are sold.
The data from wearable devices can also help detection of epidemics
Although Google has eliminated its flu information service based on country searches, the error rate was too high, now they can take an important step in epidemiological control.
Google recently bought Fitbit, a company that produces activity wristbands and smartwatches. The software of these products is able to detect symptoms whether a person is contracting flu, which of course must be verified by medical services. But Fibit wristbands can send valuable information to the authorities to control these outbreaks.
Fitbit bracelets try to predict if we are sick from our heart rate and sleep data. Although it is a timid advance, the Apple Watch already made it clear that it was a powerful health control tool by predicting things like arrhythmia and it can even perform cardiograms.