Measures to deal with H1N1 flu “pandemic” around the world, 2009 - “You can catch a virus from a newspaper someone else as touched”, Anti-Flu campaign UK, Nov 2009

Google launch in July 2009 a global map of flu activity. The map monitors real time data of flu outbreaks and could be a helpful indicator of pandemic hot spots.

Teacher checks student temperature, China's tough policy helped to slow down the spread of the virus in the world most populous country. Nov 2009

Pilgrims pass by thermal sensors to detect their temperature, Saudi Arabia, Nov 2009

Afghan boy sells masks in Kabul, Nov 2009

Pathogen Hunter / Project Development

Human beings evolutionary process was, is and will be, shaped by infectious organisms. Around 45% of our genetic material is made of mobile elements and many of it of viral or bacterial origin.
Humans are susceptible to more varieties of infection than any other organism due to our cell complexity. Infectious organism have undoubtedly major consequences and implications on our society, however the associated fear of epidemics is probably bigger than the actual risk.

What roles will rapid detection technologies have? Will they boost confidence on public healthcare, transports and goods exchange? Or encourage hypochondriac nations?

The virus hunter

Uncountable studies have demonstrated that our living conditions seem to boost the infectious organisms transmission patterns and health organisations predictions point for a probable epidemic, anytime soon.
Dr. Nathan Wolfe is known to be a VIRUS HUNTER. He is a field virologist that aims to track emerging infectious diseases before they begin to kill humans.

Future scenarios

Health Observatory

The Health Observatory is a visual illustration of possible subject areas that the design proposal can include within a 40 years timeframe. Based in the Foresight Report on The Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases.


Future disease surveillance schemes

Outcome of a workshop with AptaMEMS ID team, NESTA, December 2009.


The health rules of the 21st century

In News from Nowhere (1890), William Morris gave a full account of a wonderful hygienic world that he believed would come somewhere around the year 2003.
Nowadays, we are advised to wash our hands thoroughly like surgeons, avoid touching our mouth, nose and eyes with our hands, despite doing it on an average of 200 times a day, and practice good cough and sneeze etiquette preventing spreading pathogens to others.

Bruce Nauman, Raw Material, Washing hands depicts the process of washing hands repeatedly, video installation 55min, 1990.

What could be the new 21st century hygiene guidelines? Would technology like AptaMEMS ID be used to stop people going to certain places when detecting a potential infectious organism? Would people start to change their lives, schedule and work on the prediction of a possible infection outbreak? Will this be considered an act of citizenship? Or just a weak immune system? What will be the social etiquette related to these technologies?