Corona Virus was detected by a Canadian start up on the shores of Lake Ontario. They raised an early alarm about this mysterious virus that was emerging in Wuhan- a city in China. The start-up named ‘BlueDot’ detected the virus with the help of Artificial Intelligence.
The application BlueDot has an algorithm which is designed in such a way that it can gather air traffic information in with the intention of detecting and monitoring the spreading of various diseases and viruses. Based out of Toronto, it detected the countries in which the risk of corona virus was greater with the help of its advanced features.
The application sent alert to its clients on 31st December about the new virus spreading and proving itself to be deadly. It was days before the health authorities made official statements about corona virus.
BlueDot’s founder Kamran Khan told in an interview about how they are trying to push the boundaries and using the advanced technology of data and analytics to move faster and give better results. He also states the importance of time and timing when a country has to deal with an outbreak.
Kamran Khan, a 49 year old epidemiologist was planning to launch BlueDot in 2002-03 after the outbreak of SARS epidemic. He was a doctor specialising in infectious diseases at that time in Toronto, in a hospital where he watched 44 people die helplessly in Canada’s largest city.
There were a number of health care workers and his colleagues getting infected by the virus, who died working in the hospital infected by the disease says Mr. Khan. This was an experience and motivation which opened his eyes to develop something like BlueDot and do everything they are now doing at BlueDot.
BlueDot was launched in 2014 which now has 40 employees which includes a team of the medical professionals like physicians, veterinarians, epidemiologists and also technical experts like software developers and data scientists. Using advanced technologies like Machine learning and Natural Language processing they came up with a real-time warning system.
It is similar to finding a needle in a hay shack and presenting it to the experts who can review it and train the machine says Khan.
The goal of this application is to make the people and authorities like airports, government offices aware about the outbreak that can happen and help them take precautions to avoid it or if not that at least prepare for the worst of conditions.