IBM has joined forces with more than 20 public health institutions to form the Global Pandemic Initiative, to stem the spread of bird flu and other infectious diseases.
The tracking will be done using technology IBM developed partly at its Almaden Research Center in San Jose, USA.
Among those technologies is the Interoperable Healthcare Information Infrastructure (IHII), designed to improve communication and collaboration among medical professionals and researchers by helping them collect and share health data. IBM will expand the role of IHII to include public health issues, facilitating the sharing of clinical data among medical facilities, laboratories and public health agencies.
IBM also plans to build a community of users around its epidemiological modelling framework, called Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeller (STEM). STEM can tap the information collected from IHII, along with other information such as roadmaps, airport locations, travel patterns, and bird migration routes around the world. It will allow users to rapidly develop models for how a disease is likely to spread geographically over time.