AI’s Role in Public Health and Infectious Diseases

By Sumona Bose

January 3, 2024


Infectious diseases pose a significant threat to public health, with pathogenic microorganisms causing widespread illness and even death. The utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of infectious diseases has shown great promise in improving diagnosis, blocking transmission, and enhancing treatment strategies. However, the ethical use and access to AI are crucial factors that need to be considered for successful implementation. This article explores the benefits of using AI in infectious diseases and emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations. Additionally, it will explore AI’s role in Public Health and Infectious Diseases.

AI in Diagnosis and Transmission Blocking

One of the key areas where AI has made significant advancements in infectious diseases is in diagnosis and blocking transmission. For example, in Singapore airport terminals, thermal cameras are used to perform temperature checks systematically, identifying individuals with high temperatures as a potential risk for infection. Mathematical modeling approaches have also been developed to improve surveillance and detect infected patients based on vital signs. These advancements have proven to be valuable tools in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. This emphasizes AI’s role in detecting infectious diseases in public health.

Epidemiology and Transmission Studies

Epidemiological studies play a crucial role in understanding the spread of infectious diseases. AI has enabled the collection and analysis of large datasets, allowing for the prediction of the size and impact of emerging infectious diseases. However, challenges remain in the field of antimicrobial drug resistance, particularly in the case of antibacterial and antiparasitic drugs. AI can help improve the identification of earliest signs of transmission by combining extreme value theory and robust statistical methods-based analysis.

Addressing the Unknown Bad

Existing medical tests are effective in detecting known diseases but can be ineffective in detecting unknown diseases or increased burden of existing infections due to mutations. AI can help develop tools to identify these “unknown bad” cases by analyzing extreme values and rare events. This approach is crucial for accurately detecting infectious risk and preventing the spread of diseases.

Ethical Considerations and Future Perspectives

While the utilization of AI and machine learning in infectious diseases shows great promise, there are several issues that need to be addressed for its full integration into daily healthcare practices. Bio-surveillance systems need better coordination, and existing structures should be utilized to develop long-term capabilities in preventing infectious disease pandemics. The architecture of data is also essential for enabling data sharing, merging, and analysis. Strategic decisions at the global level regarding the implementation of big data architectures and their integration with AI-driven solutions are necessary to reduce the risks of infectious disease dissemination.


In conclusion, the utilization of AI in public health and infectious diseases holds great potential for improving diagnosis, blocking transmission, and enhancing treatment strategies. However, ethical considerations and the need for coordinated bio-surveillance systems are crucial for successful implementation. With the right approach, AI can be a valuable tool in combating infectious diseases and protecting public health.

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