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Surprising Science

Infectious Disease Is Like a Microscopic Terrorist. Here’s How We Stop It from Spreading.

If you knew the flu was going around your office, wouldn't it be nice to work at home for the day?

If you knew the flu was going around your office, wouldn’t it be nice to work at home for the day? Or if a specific illness was going around your child’s school, wouldn’t you want to know — and act accordingly? Unfortunately, we’re still living in the “dark ages” when it comes to understanding the health effects of our surrounding environments, says Inder Singh, Founder & CEO of Kinsa, a company that wants to build realtime visual networks of infectious illnesses and how they travel through our communities.


Eric Paley, a managing partner of Founder Collective, picked up on Singh’s idea and gave it some crucial seed-stage venture capital funding. Paley has spent his professional life evaluating promising entrepreneurs and their companies, and Founder Collective has an impressive track record of picking winners. Here is Paley in his own words:

Just by looking at the digital network, you could tell which specific populations were experiencing outbreaks of the flu or other infectious diseases. While the technology could be extremely useful should a terrorist ever use biological weapons, the more everyday uses are the ones most likely to bring the technology to market.

Singh says his mission is to “create the world’s first realtime map of human health to track and stop the spread of disease.” This is definitely better living through technology and if it means not getting the flu this year, or any year at all, we are absolutely on board.

The Visionaries series is brought to you by Big Think in collaboration with Founder Collective. In it, we profile remarkable entrepreneurs and the ideas and practices that make them great. 


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