IBM researchers announced that they had released free software that will help public health officials prevent pandemics of diseases like bird flu or dengue fever.

Their Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM) is a tool designed to predict how diseases may spread. It is very similar to the way meteorologists predict the paths of storms.
This device will help health expert to model the spread of a disease just like modelling a storm or hurricane.

Until recently, it was very hard to simulate health crisis scenarios on a global level and this is where STEM fits into the story. It will provide information about road maps and macro-economics as well as local details such as air traffic patterns. Different information can be added to the software to enable the forecast of how particular diseases may spread in local regions. This will allow creation of a public health 'weather map' for the spread of a particular disease.

The device will be available to scientists, researchers and public health protectors worldwide through the nonprofit Eclipse Foundation.