Swine flu, Pandemics, and IT

A sow and her piglet.Image via Wikipedia

Chris Lau’s recent post gotme thinking a bit……just what is the impact of Information Technology onhelping to prevent, or even publicizing, the potential disasters such aSARS, the breaking news on Swine Flu and even things like weather events.

First, we hear all the gory details faster than ever before.  Thatcan be positive – we can all be more careful if we need to “hunkerdown” for the worst case.  It can be negative – the potential for panicis never more real.

Second, there’s more information out there that can help us protectourselves.  For example, Wikipedia has a posting on Swine Flu – let’sjust hope its accurate.

Third, it allows governments to exchange information and findingsthat permit a coordinated response to counter the threat.  Its alsogood that each country doen’t need to “re-invent the wheel” in buildingdefenses and even in building computer systems to help out.

Fourth, IT can become a diagnostic tool, especially when thesolutions aren’t readily apparent.  Data mining to look for patternsand trends can be invaluable.  Especially to see if counter-measuresare effective.

I’m sure there many other ways that IT can help in these majorevents, both for positive effect and also to do harm.   Comment if youhave some other ideas……..

  • Swine flu: let the mashups begin (
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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Don Sheppard
Don Sheppard
I'm a IT management consultant. I began my career in railways and banks after which I took up the consulting challenge! I try to keep in touch with a lot of different I&IT topics but I'm usually working in areas that involve service management and procurement. I'm into developing ISO standards, current in the area of cloud computing (ISO JTC1/SC38). I'm also starting to get more interested in networking history, so I guess I'm starting to look backwards as well as forwards! My homepage is but I am found more here.

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