AI is changing the paradigm of how illnesses are predicted. Companies such as SAS and BlueDot are at the center of predicting infectious diseases by using AI. Rather than carrying out reactive measures after an infectious disease breaks out, they look for sources of infection that can cause a problem in the future through data and provide proactive and reactive measures.
SAS has established and is carrying out COVID-19 monitoring and warning analysis platform in different regions of China by using its AI-based data analysis platform called “SAS Viya” and “SAS Visual Analytics” solution. “SAS Viya” platform collects general data from social medias and others in addition to public medical data and it provides various information such as detailed information of patients, routes of patients, statistics on the trend of a spread, and others. Information gathered from social medias such as Weibo and Baidu are used to understand the size and the level of an area that needs help.
“Although data collection that threatened public health existed even tens of years ago, such collection was done manually and required a considerable amount of time.” said Manager Theresa Do of SAS’ Federal Healthcare Advisory and Solutions team. “We are going to collect information through natural language processing and change the paradigms of how illnesses are predicted and dealt with by providing insight towards early signs and threats on health information.”
SAS provides its technologies related to illness to worldwide public agencies related to public health in addition to FDA, CDC, and CMS.

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<Dashboard on analysis of different regions in China implemented through SAS Viya-based Visual Analytics>

Canadian company called BlueDot was the first one to warn about the spread of COVID-19 based on its data. After confirming COVID-19 that started in Wuhan on the last day of 2019, it informed its customers that there is a greater chance that COVID-19 would spread to Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taipei. Its notice was 10 days faster than the official warning announced by WHO on the 9th of January. BlueDot has national health authorities from Singapore and others as its customers in addition to health authorities from Canada.
Illness predicting tools based on AI shown by BlueDot and SAS can be used by collecting information from various fields. They can distinguish symptoms that are suspicious of a virus based on data collected from hospitals and they can also prevent people with high chances of being infected with an illness from entering a country by monitoring their temperature. Because data is sent in real time, passenger list can be used to find out the risk of infecting other passengers when there is an infected person.
Because these tools analyze every data, they can prevent infectious diseases from spreading.
“We can find early signs of an infection through additional information from blogs and others and verify an increase in the number of patients who are showing symptoms.” said Manager Do. “It is also possible to find out whether there are more risks on public health through hereditary information and how a virus is related.”
She also added that hereditary information can provide an insight on how an illness goes from a host animal to a human.
Staff Reporter Jung, Youngil |