OUTBREAK is a significant opportunity for Australia to lead the global knowledge economy, according to Mimesis Technology chief data scientist and CEO David McCloskey.

As a leading figure in social demographics and advanced analytics, Mr McCloskey believes the project’s data-driven approach could be the solution to tackling one of the world’s biggest health threats, antibiotic resistant bacteria.

“This is a really significant opportunity for Australia to massively punch above its weight in public health and to make a major contribution globally,” Mr McCloskey said.

“Over the past few years, we’ve talked about Australia as the smart country and knowledge economy.

“This work (OUTBREAK) is an absolute foundation for a range of new industries, which can achieve global scale and be centered in Australia.”

Mimesis Technology, an OUTBREAK industry partner, specialises in using advanced data modelling, Artificial Intelligence and 3D geospatial visualisation to support business and government.

“Mimesis also delivers extensive experience in geodemography, which is essentially about understanding people and place,” Mr McCloskey explained.

“We collate and analyse data in small areas to identify key characteristics of people and how they behave.

“This information from health, transport and education sectors provides a very powerful way to build really interesting profiles.”

Mimesis’ analysis will be used to study and tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by understanding patterns of antibiotics consumption and how it varies between groups of people.

“There may be elements of cultural or other practices that indicate higher uses of particular drugs,” Mr McCloskey said. “That may be contributing to the likelihood or increase of drug resistance in the community and understanding these patterns is a big step in figuring out how to change the outcome.”

He also believes wastewater management is pivotal to managing AMR.

“If we’re able to develop technologies that can remove AMR resistant organisms from wastewater, we’re creating knowledge products that have a global market. Every single wastewater treatment plant in the world is a potential license user of this technology.”

Mr McCloskey said OUTBREAK was creating a canvas on which Australia could make an enormous contribution to curbing AMR.

“Having a cross-disciplinary team and access to the latest technology allows us to deal with the complexities of this problem,” he said.

“What this group is putting together is a knowledge architecture, which can be built on to meaningfully impact and take pressure off bacteria mutation rates, ultimately allowing us to have both current and future antibiotics working more effectively for longer.”

Find out more at mimesis.technology

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