27 Apr '16, 5pm

Big Data Tamps Down HIV Outbreaks

Big Data Tamps Down HIV Outbreaks

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of HIV is to treat those at high risk with a daily prophylactic pill. Unfortunately, this week Stanford University health researchers concluded that it’s simply too expensive to pre-treat even a fraction of people at increased risk for HIV. But what if healthcare providers could track a brewing outbreak in real-time, and quickly help those at highest risk of infection? Thanks to big data and crackerjack new software, Canada’s westernmost province is doing just that. In June 2014, a monitoring system operated by the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) detected a cluster of 11 new HIV cases in a town just outside Vancouver. The system, designed by bioinformatician Art Poon , analyzes massive amounts of HIV genetic data to detect outbreaks. “Our objective is to get to zero incidence of HIV.” Such data is surpr...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/diagnost...

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