TED 2015: Bill Gates warns on future disease epidemic

The world needs to prepare for the next major health crisis, Bill Gates has told delegates at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference.

While Ebola seems to be being kept under control currently, next time “we may not be so lucky” the Microsoft co-founder warned.

He said that there were plenty of technology tools that could be used to contain the spread of a virus.

And, he added, governments should learn from how nations prepare for war.

“Nato plays war games to check that people are well-trained and prepared. Now we need germ games,” he said.

He also called for a reserve “medical corps” similar to the reserve armies that civilians can join.

Technology can play a big role in helping prevent the spread of a virus, he told the Ted audience.

The proliferation of mobile phones mean that citizens can easily report where disease breaks out and satellite mapping can quickly collate where the problem areas are.

Meanwhile advances in biology have drastically cut the time it takes to develop vaccines for new viruses

During the Ebola crisis, technology firms such as IBM contributed tracking systems that allowed the authorities to create detailed maps of outbreaks based on text messages from citizens.

Bill Gates has long had an interest in global problems such as poverty and disease and the Gates Foundation, which he set up with his wife, has contributed millions to help solve the issues.

News courtesy: BBC
Read more » http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31956344

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