10 Ways We're Using Data to Fight Disease


Bruce Aylward, World Health Organization assistant director-general, speaks during a press conference on the Ebola roadmap in Geneva, Switzerland. Data science has greatly helped with mapping diseases. Murat Unlu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Big data is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against disease. The more data we have in hand, the more educated we can be in the health care choices we make. Data can provide a landscape about the health of a particular community and teach us about patient commonalities so we can estimate risk factors. It can help us learn more about disease and therefore find a cure, or let us see how outbreaks travel to effectively contain them.

Data science is one of the most interdisciplinary fields in existence. Scientists, doctors, mathematicians, computer programmers and epidemiologists are just a few of the professions involved in data science. All people play a part in either collecting data, analyzing it, figuring out how to use it or acting on it.

Here are 10 ways data science has been used with different diseases and epidemics.

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