IBM, Public Health Groups Form Global Pandemic Initiative

IBM and over twenty major worldwide public health institutions, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced the Global Pandemic Initiative, a collaborative effort to help stem the spread of infectious diseases.

With growing concerns over potential outbreaks of new strains of disease, and their ability to spread more easily because of modern transportation, IBM scientists have formed a steering committee with worldwide health organizations and universities to guide efforts to address the issue. Together, they will explore the use of advanced analytical and computer technology as part of a global preparedness program for responding to potential infectious disease outbreaks around the world.

IBM will bring to bear several of its key technologies and is establishing healthcare "Innovation Centers" at the company's worldwide Research laboratories to work with the global healthcare community in this collaborative effort.

"The threat of a pandemic is a definitively global phenomenon," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our response must be similarly global, and must rely -- as with so many other major issues we face today -- on open, collaborative innovation. IBM is proud to join with our partners in this effort, grounded in our core value of 'innovation that matters.'"

Central to the effort will be the use of advanced software technologies, elements of which IBM intends to contribute to the open-source community, that are designed to help share information on disease outbreaks electronically and use it to predict how diseases will spread.

Among the technologies that will be used is a software framework IBM developed to allow electronic health information to be more easily shared and mined for trends, such as the outbreak of disease. Called the Interoperable Healthcare Information Infrastructure (IHII), the technology is 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, responding to global calls for pandemic preparedness by 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 modeling framework, called Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeller (STEM), which can tap the information collected from IHII, along with additional 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 geographically spread over time. These models can help public health experts and governmental planners develop more effective preparedness plans.

Ultimately, those plans could include development and distribution of more effective and timely vaccines as IBM taps into knowledge gained through a planned collaborative initiative known as "Project Checkmate," in which IBM and The Scripps Research Institute propose to conduct advanced biological research on influenza viruses. The collaboration is designed to predict the way viruses will mutate over time using advanced predictive techniques running on high performance computing systems, such as IBM's BlueGene supercomputer, allowing effective vaccines to be developed by drug-makers, drawing on the immunology and chemistry expertise at Scripps.

IBM scientists at the company's Research Labs in China, India, Israel, Japan, Switzerland and the U.S. will serve as focal points for the collaboration. Among the members of the Pandemic Initiative steering committee are: US Agency for International Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Scripps Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Center for Biosecurity.

Contact information:
Michael Loughran
IBM Media Relations
914.945.1613
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Most Popular Now

Philips Launches HealthSuite Clinical Tr…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, announced Clinical Trial Accelerator on Philips HealthSuite. This new tailored set of capabilities allows life science organizations to...

New AI Diagnostic can Predict COVID-19 w…

Researchers at King's College London, Massachusetts General Hospital and health science company ZOE have developed an artificial intelligence diagnostic that can predict whether someone is likely to have COVID-19 based...

Biomax Provides AI-Based Semantic Search…

The bioinformatics company Biomax, headquartered in Planegg, Germany, makesitssemantic search platform AILANI available free of charge to research institutes around the world in order to support the rapid and successful...

COVID-19 and Health Tech: Building on th…

Highland Marketing's advisory board met to discuss the health tech response to the coronavirus outbreak. In many areas, this has been hugely impressive: but there are gaps, and there will...

InsurTech Hub Munich and dmac/Digital He…

InsurTech Hub Munich (ITHM) and dmac - Medical Valley Digital Health Application Center part of the Digital Health Hub Nuremberg/Erlangen announce a new cross-industry accelerator for the second half of...

Viveo Health Offers Free Telemedicine So…

Viveo Health, a global e-Health innovator, is making its 'Virtual Office for Doctors' platform free of charge to doctors and other medical professionals worldwide in light of the surge in...

Telemedicine Transforms Response to COVI…

A rapid increase in "virtual" visits during the COVID-19 pandemic could transform the way physicians provide care in the United States going forward, according to a new study led by...

The Dedalus Group, Participated by Ardia…

The Dedalus Group, a leading European company, and one of the worldwide main ones, active in clinical healthcare information systems to support clinical professionals and organizations in order to improve...

Supercomputer Simulations Present Potent…

Several drugs approved for treating hepatitis C viral infection were identified as potential candidates against COVID-19, a new disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. This is the result of research...

The COVID-19 pandemic reveals the potent…

Two new articles provide insights on the use of telehealth or virtual care in the age of COVID-19 and beyond, pointing to its value to not only prevent contagious diseases...

DigiConnect: e-healthcare - 24/7 Health …

Given the current outbreak of COVID-19, healthcare providers in the Middle East along with the rest of the world are currently putting relentless efforts to provide an innovative offering that...

WiFi SPARK Works with Visionable to Conn…

Seven NHS Trusts are using technology developed by WiFi SPARK in response to an urgent request from leading NHS Trusts to find a way to connect hospital patients with their...