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IBM spreads software for epidemiology

Mapping software for modeling the path of infectious diseases made available as open-source.

IBM announced Friday that it's making available as open-source the software it developed for modeling the movement of infectious diseases.

The Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM), which can run on any operating system, will be available through a project run by Eclipse, the open-source development foundation, called the Eclipse Open Healthcare Framework Project.

The mapping software has customizable tools, and epidemiologists can apply their own algorithms to fit the needs of specific projects and various outbreak scenarios. Among the variables the software can include are air travel, road systems, borders and animal interaction with a disease.

It can also be used to analyze real-time data during an outbreak, so epidemiologists and public officials can figure out a disease's transfer pattern and try to contain it.

The move is part of IBM's Global Pandemic Initiative announced in May 2006.