A new project preventing West Nile Disease spread in Italy kicks-off

The 17th of September marks the official start of the AIDEO (Artificial Intelligence and Earth Observation data: innovative methods for monitoring West Nile Disease spread in Italy) project, an ESA Science for Society funded initiative, that involves Progressive Systems, the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale D’Abruzzo e del Molise, the AImage Lab of Modena and ReMedia of Frascati.

AIDEO aims at developing a process which intends to verify if West Nile Disease risk maps can be produced by using Earth Observation data and specific Artificial Intelligence algorithms. The innovativeness of the project builds upon an unprecedented amount of high-resolution EO data available through the Copernicus programme, combined with AI techniques in an effort to shape complex relationships for example between the presence of WND and the environment in which it spreads.

Risk maps appear to be highly relevant for competent authorities such as Ministries of Health for a double reason: first of all to develop alert systems able to inform those authorities when the conditions become favourable for the spread of the disease; secondly for the epidemiological surveillance and control of the disease.

A first technical meeting was held on the 23rd of October with the objective of planning the future scientific activities of the project. On that occasion it was agreed to start the analysis of the images with two pilot areas: Pianura Padana and Sardinia that represent epidemiologically interesting territories.