Using big data to uncover outbreaks of infectious diseases
The worldwide health, economic and social impacts of the SARS epidemic in 2003 inspired Dr. Kamran Khan, an associate professor in medicine and public health at the University of Toronto, to develop a global early warning system for dangerous infectious diseases. He spent the next decade working to create a big data platform to drive scientific research on outbreaks and pandemics and founded BlueDot in 2013 to accelerate that goal. Using geographic information systems, natural language processing and artificial intelligence, the multidisciplinary team at BlueDot has been able to predict the worldwide spread of influenza, and track the spread of recent outbreaks, including Ebola and the Zika virus.
* Kamran Khan is a 2018 winner of the Governor General’s Innovation Awards.