Metabiota on CNN: Taxpayers Shouldn't Have to Pay for Pandemics. Here's a Solution.

As an epidemiologist, I spent the first 20 years of my career discovering unknown viruses that could cause pandemics, such as novel coronaviruses. I spent most of those years arguing that if the world didn't better prepare for pandemics, countless lives would be lost. Then, 10 years ago, I started looking at the financial fallout as well. I became convinced that if we don't prepare for pandemics, countless livelihoods will also be destroyed. Covid-19 has shown that waiting to respond to epidemics can prove catastrophic. It has proven that we need to prepare for the financial fallout of the next major pandemic. But how? That's where the insurance industry can help. View Article on CNN: Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for pandemics. Here's a solution.

Metabiota on CNN: It's Too Late for this Pandemic. But Everyone Wants Insurance Against the Next One.

Businesses around the world are facing catastrophic losses as the novel coronavirus forces them to scale back operations or shut down entirely, and most don't have insurance cover for pandemics. Companies are now racing to buy protection against the next outbreak, insurance experts say. Metabiota CEO Nita Madhav said the company's modeling suggests that coronavirus outbreaks could happen once every 25 to 50 years, with other disease outbreaks occurring more frequently. Metabiota's team of epidemiologists and data scientists worked with Munich Re and Marsh to develop their insurance products. View Article on CNN: It's Too Late for this Pandemic. But Everyone Wants Insurance Against the Next One.

Metabiota in Actuarial Review: Coronavirus Spread Reveals Coverage Gaps

Although the coronavirus first diagnosed in China’s industrial city of Wuhan is continuing to spread worldwide, experts predict its impact on the property-casualty insurance industry will be minimal. But that does not mean that the pathogen, known as the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), should be ignored. View Article in Actuarial Review: Coronavirus Spread Reveals Coverage Gaps

Metabiota on BBC: Coronavirus - The Psychology of Panic Buying

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, people are flocking to supermarkets worldwide – but are they simply preparing, or irrationally panicking? View Article on BBC: Coronavirus: The Psychology of Panic Buying

Metabiota in Vox: Coronavirus is the First Big Test for Futuristic Tech that Can Prevent Pandemics

The novel coronavirus that first appeared in mainland China has now spread across the world, with more than 82,000 reported cases and nearly 3,000 deaths, as of Thursday. And right alongside the outbreak is the deployment of myriad types of AI-powered tech that is now being put on full display. Public health data surveillance companies Metabiota and BlueDot were both used to track the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus. View Article on Vox: Coronavirus is the First Big Test for Futuristic Tech that Can Prevent Pandemics

Metabiota in U.S. News: Can AI Flag Disease Outbreaks Faster Than Humans? Not Quite.

Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments save lives. In the final days of 2019, an AI system in Boston sent out the first global alert about a new viral outbreak in China. But it took human intelligence to recognize the significance of the outbreak and then awaken response from the public health community. But the algorithms can only be as effective as the data they are scouring, said Nita Madhav, CEO of San Francisco-based disease monitoring firm Metabiota, which first notified its clients about the outbreak in early January. Madhav said that inconsistency in how different agencies report medical data can stymie algorithms. The text-scanning programs extract keywords from online text, but may fumble when organizations variously report new virus cases, cumulative virus cases, or new cases in a given time interval. The potential for confusion means there's almost always still a person involved in reviewing the data. View Article on U.S. News: Can AI Flag Disease Outbreaks Faster Than Humans? Not Quite.

Metabiota on MarketPlace Public Radio: Big Data Predicted the Coronavirus Outbreak and Where It Would Spread

Employing artificial intelligence as an early warning system for global outbreaks isn’t just for government. Airlines, hotels and cruise lines stand to lose millions of dollars if people stop traveling, and many companies purchase data and analysis from AI firms to assess financial risk. The AI firm Metabiota assesses a disease — its symptoms, death rate and availability of vaccine — and then surveys people on how much that disease scares them. It found this coronavirus has a high “scariness” index. View Article on Marketplace.org: Big Data Predicted the Coronavirus Outbreak and Where It Would Spread

Metabiota on ABC News Radio: Big Tech Tackles the Coronavirus Outbreak

As the novel coronavirus continues to sweep across much of mainland China, tech companies are taking notice of the information -- and disinformation -- that the outbreak is generating online. Metabiota is a biotech company that tracks the spread of diseases by monitoring everything from media reports to flight data. CEO Nita Madhav says they use artificial intelligence as well as a team of analysts to draw conclusions about how people are reacting to the disease. View Article: Big Tech Tackles the Coronavirus Outbreak

Metabiota in the Financial Times: Insurers in the Spotlight over Coronavirus

Companies and individuals affected by the coronavirus are facing an agonising trawl through the small print to see whether their insurance policies cover costs. Industry experts said a wide variety of polices could pay out, but that epidemics and pandemics were often deliberately excluded from cover. California-based Metabiota tracks the impact of viruses on individual behaviour, such as people’s willingness to travel. Its modelling suggests the impact of the coronavirus outbreak could be similar to the Sars virus in 2003, when some hotels suffered a 40 per cent drop in revenues. According to Metabiota chief executive, Nita Madhav, Sars caused overall economic losses of more than $50bn. View Article on FT.com (subscription required): Insurers in the Spotlight over Coronavirus

Metabiota on Quartz: Coronavirus is a Proving Ground for Scientific Transparency

In past epidemics, some public health researchers have been guilty of hoarding top-shelf data sets for meticulous study—and hopefully a splashy journal article - until long after the public health crisis has passed. But global health scientists who are working to track the coronavirus say that the outbreak has sparked an unprecedented level of openness and collaboration between normally competitive research outfits. The result, they say, is that actionable computer models to predict where the disease might spread next - and the genetic data needed to develop treatments—are coming online faster and at a higher quality than in any previous epidemic. At least one private AI-based outbreak monitoring company is also joining the fray: Metabiota, a San Francisco-based service for government agencies and insurance companies, plans to make the province-level data behind its nCoV19 tracking map freely available early next week, CEO Nita Madhav told Quartz. View Article on Quartz: Coronavirus is a Proving Ground for Scientific Transparency