SAN JOSE, Calif.—With an eye to helping global scientists and clinicians anticipate and prepare for emerging infectious diseases, IBM has released Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM), an open-source tool to predict disease transmission across countries, through Eclipse's Open Healthcare Framework Project. The tool was developed by scientists at IBM's Almaden, Haifa, and Watson labs.
"STEM will allow public health officials to model the spread of a disease much like modeling a storm or hurricane—it allows us to produce a public health 'weather map' for the spread of a particular disease," says Joseph Jasinski, program director of IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences. "Until now, it has been difficult to simulate health crisis scenarios on a global scale. STEM gives us the power to do that."
Running on any operating system, STEM generates graphical representations of disease spread based on parameters such as demographics, geography, macro-economic data, and human and disease vector travel patterns. Being open-source, the platform can be customized by end users to fit their specific requirements, and is already being used in the Global Pandemic Initiative.