How a Canadian start-up used AI to track China virus
How did it do it?
Dealing with the outbreak
In 2014, Khan launched BlueDot, which now has 40 employees - a team of physicians, veterinarians, epidemiologists, data scientists and software developers. Together, they thrashed out a real-time warning system based on natural language processing and machine learning. Every 15 minutes around the clock, the company's algorithm scans official reports, professional forums and online news sources, searching for key words and phrases. It can read text in 65 languages and can track 150 different types of diseases. "We call it the needles in the haystack," Khan says.
High prone areas
Climate data, national health system databases, and even the presence of mosquitoes or animals that transmit diseases to humans are also taken into account. Once that analysis is complete, BlueDot sends an alert to its clients - government agencies, airlines, hospitals - where the majority of those airline passengers might land.
The underlying algorithm