Bill Gates TED 2015 Ebola

Bill Gates at TED 2015 on next disease epidemic: 'We may not be so lucky,' but tech can help.


By Nesh Pillay | Reporter

March 19, 2015 | 2 min read

Bill Gates used his stage time at the Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference to warn the public about the dangers of not preparing for future disease epidemics. Technology, he said, can help.

During the recent Ebola outbreak, tech companies, including IBM, helped governments track the spread of the disease based on the text messages of those nearby.

With the availability of mobile phones almost everywhere, including lower income nations, citizens are able to share disease outbreaks and severity.

He added that governments also need to prepare for viral outbreaks by coordinating drills.

"Nato plays war games to check that people are well-trained and prepared. Now we need germ games," he said.

He added that it was not all terrible new, stating that advances in medical technology have allowed for the creation of new vaccines rather quickly.

"We can get ready, we don't need to panic. We don't need to hoard cans of spaghetti and hide in the basement," he said.

Instead, Gates added that governments and individuals need to take the Ebola crisis as advanced warning, so that they are better prepared next time.

Click here to see what Gates had to say at his Reddit Q&A earlier this year.

Bill Gates TED 2015 Ebola

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