Q: Could you tell us about your innovation to predict deadly outbreaks using machine learning?
A: Our proposed plan is to reduce both the burden of the disease and the economic impact these diseases impose in affected nations by introducing an artificially intelligent platform, capable of reporting and accurately predicting the next disease outbreaks. This platform will allow public health professionals and government officials to make informed decisions in the areas they should take action, instead of using funds in areas that are not necessarily heavily affected by the diseases. Currently the web-based platform is able to predict deadly outbreaks with an accuracy of 88.4% with a time frame of 3 months in advance, and geo-locating them up to a 400-meter radius.
Q: How can new innovations help make health systems more effective and efficient, especially in developing countries?
A: The socio-economic toll of diseases transmitted by mosquitos is severe. Approximately 2.5 billion people are at risk and the total annual cost of dengue fever alone has been put at $8 billion. Mosquito-borne outbreaks adversely affect other health services in a country. Health-system capacity can adapt to meet predictable demand for illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, but mosquito-borne and deadly virulent outbreaks are sporadic, unpredictable and highly disruptive, putting enormous pressure on clinics, health workers, hospitals and laboratories. Getting infectious disease under control would have a vast and positive impact across the whole of the public health system.
Q: How can international forums like Committee on Science and Technology for Development promote and support new innovation in global development, including in health?
A: With the involvement of the CSTD as a platform for discussion, member States will be able to view ground-breaking innovations from various sectors, for-profit organizations, non-profit, entrepreneurs and so on. This will expose countries to various possible ways to tackle their own country's issues and indirectly promotes collaboration between inter-agencies. We clearly saw this during the recent meeting in Geneva where we were invited to Pakistan and Indonesia to see possible collaborations in using AI to tackle infectious diseases.