Prevent the next pandemic with Epidemic Intelligence

Research program: 
The challenge: 

Pandemics and serious epidemics have an impact which is immediate, acutely disruptive and requiring surge capacity in health systems and human resources. They have major societal and economic consequences, both in countries with weak health systems and scarce human resources for health, but also in wealthy countries, as exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project: 

To extend our EPIWATCH prototype into a fully automated intelligent system with full language and GIS capability, with a framework for seamless integration of risk analysis tools to enable rapid, early detection of serious epidemics. To monitor global epidemics and to provide critical analysis of important epidemics for use by policy makers, government and other stakeholders

The method: 

To conduct research to develop the EPIWATCH prototype into an enhanced, automated rapid intelligence system using novel methods and artificial intelligence to complement traditional surveillance, with interactive user interfaces on the web and Apps. We will pursue to develop the EPIWATCH prototype into an intelligent, fully automated system.

The results: 

The EPIWATCH ‘Global Eye’ monitors a wide variety of data generated around the world 24/7 through its AI-driven data collection including news casts, social platforms and medical reporting using over 25 global languages including the major languages in Asia. We can tap into chatter in communities and local news reports to find out about outbreaks long before health official are notified.

The impact: 

To capture early epidemic signals globally and enable early detection of epidemics, leading to prevention of global spread.

Project contact: 
Head, Biosecurity Program, and Professor of Global Biosecurity, Kirby Institute and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow
Project supporters: 
  • The MRFF Frontier Health and Medical Research Grant
Project collaborators: 
  • CSIRO Data61