Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemics (AIME), a startup company, has developed a new software that can accurately predict the spread of Dengue three months ahead of an outbreak. AIME claims that the platform, Dengue Outbreak Prediction, now has an average accuracy of 86.4 percent.
Dengue is an infection transmitted by a mosquito bite, and can cause fever, headaches, vomiting, muscle and joint pains. Dengue is common in the tropics, and can become life-threatening. There is a vaccine for Dengue, but there is no treatment for those who contract the infection. It’s estimated that there are 390 million Dengue infections a year, and that four billion people worldwide are at risk for the infection.
The idea for the platform arose from a program at the NASA Research Park in California, in which 80 people from diverse career backgrounds were asked to workshop an idea: “A solution that would save billions (of lives) in the next 10 years.” The group comprised health care professionals, public health specialists, computer engineers, and journalists, to name a few.
Rainier Mallol, a computer engineer, and Dr. Dhesi Raja, a public health specialist from Malaysia conceived an algorithm-based approach to tracking the spread of Dengue after a discussion about the inability to forecast outbreaks. Mallol also had a personal interest in this subject, as his mother contracted Dengue when he was a teenager. Currently, the Malaysian government, as well as several regional governments in Brazil and the Philippines, are using the Dengue Outbreak Prediction platform to curb outbreaks.
“Dengue is just the start," Mallol said. "We will create a device to diagnose tuberculosis and malaria. We will create another software to diagnose diabetic retinopathy." The company also has an idea "to link blood banks all over the world."
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