The global airline transportation network shares many features of a living system. Its complex "anatomy" comprises a network of arteries that connects the world's cities. The flow of travelers along each artery has its own distinct "physiological" pattern. And like a living entity, this system can get "sick" from infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, terrorism and other major events. Bio.Diaspora seeks to understand the behaviors of this complex living system and leverage knowledge of it to (i) anticipate how infectious diseases are likely to spread around the world and (ii) find effective and efficient solutions to mitigate their impact to health, security and economic activity.
To accomplish this, Bio.Diaspora harnesses new knowledge at the intersection of scientific disciplines including clinical medicine, public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, geographic information systems, cartography, mathematical modeling, network analysis, health policy and computer sciences.
With the goal of providing enhanced situational awareness of global infectious diseases in real-time, Bio.Diaspora has developed an only of its kind, web-application that seamlessly integrates real-time knowledge of infectious disease activity in the world (HealthMap) with an in-depth understanding of how the world is interconnected through the global movements of travelers.
The Bio.Diaspora web application also enables users to easily generate and share the results of customized analyses with others. Users can receive information solely through the Bio.Diaspora web application, or integrate their own confidential intelligence without the need to transfer sensitive information outside of their organization. Use of the Bio.Diaspora web application does not require a sophisticated knowledge of computer programming or statistical analysis – rather the system is designed around emerging multitouch tablet technology, creating a highly simplified but powerful interactive experience.
Development of this first-generation application continues in a number of priority areas that will produce a far more powerful, customizable and scalable platform in the near future.