While the coronavirus outbreak continues to take its toll on global markets, it’s disruptive technology like artificial intelligence that are coming to the forefront in terms of identifying the disease. For one Toronto startup, Bluedot, it was successfully able to use AI technology to alert clients of an outbreak by Dec. 31 last year, beating health organizations to the punch.

Per a Quartz report,  the startup, which was launched in 2014, successfully “alerted its clients to the outbreak on Dec. 31, well ahead of notifications from the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

According to the Quartz report, Bluedot was able to use natural language processing coupled with machine learning comb through copious amounts of data from various sources, such as global news reports, airline data and animal disease outbreak reports. The company’s AI-based platform is able to analyze an insurmountable number of data points in order to identify disease outbreaks.

The data itself is not left to stand on its own. Epidemiologists analyze the data before it goes out to clients within the public and private sectors.

“On one hand, the world is rapidly changing, where diseases are emerging and spreading faster. On the other hand, we happen to have growing access to data we can use…to generate insights and spread them faster than the diseases spread themselves,” said Bluedot founder Kamran Khan in the Canadian Press

A Disruptive ETF Opportunity

Disruptive technology is not relegated to certain sectors as it will permeate into all industries in some form or fashion. Investors who want to take advantage of the ongoing disruption in not only healthcare but a variety of sectors, can look at an actively-managed fund like the ARK Innovation ETF (NYSEArca: ARKK).

ARKK seeks to provide investors with:

  • Exposure to Innovation: Aims for thematic multi-cap exposure to innovation across sectors.ARK believes the securities held in ARKK present the best risk-reward opportunities from ARK’sinnovation-based themes.
  • Growth Potential: Aims to capture long-term alpha+ with low correlation of relative returns totraditional growth strategies and negative correlation to value strategies.
  • Diversification: Offers a tool for diversification due to little overlap with traditional indices.It can be a complement to traditional value/growth strategies.
  • Research:Combines top-down and bottom-up research in its portfolio management to identify innovative companies and convergence across markets.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Provides a lower cost alternative to mutual funds with true active management in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that invests in rapidly moving themes.

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