Ebola: 10 Tech Responses to Deadly Diseases
By: Alison Diana
October 24, 2014
Ebola, like terrorist groups or anthrax,is a threat and should be treated accordingly by organizations, people, and technology, according to Modus Operandi. The analytics software developer, which once focused solely on the intelligence community, is expanding into healthcare, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical, and finance, said Eric Little, PhD, vice president and chief scientist, in an interview.
The developer’s newest product, Via, uses the same methodologies used in its anti-terrorism analytics tools. For Ebola, for example, organizations want to find the hotspots, how and where it’s spreading, who is propagating the virus, and how it’s structured, said Little. And after Ebola fades from the headlines, the country will eventually face another viral or bacterial challenge, he noted.
“This is a never-ending battle. The best you can do is try to see the trends, try to predict, keep up on your research and try to integrate your research. To treat a disease like Ebola you need to integrate the perspective and data from people who know virology, structural biology, and physicians who are boots on the ground treating patients,” said Little. “Integrating all of that knowledge together is very hard. A genomics person doesn’t necessary integrate much or do a lot of talking to basic physicians and vice versa. A lot of physicians are not experts in genomic science. How do you get these communities together? The kinds of software we’re looking at building bring those together.”