When we think of predictive analytics in insurance, perhaps it calls to mind weather risks, earthquake exposures or other types of disasters, but newly-reported research indicates that a form of predictive analytics will be of great use to health insurers, who should be able to geographically localize the spread of diseases, and in turn, better assess health risks.

According to a ScienceDaily story, a computer model of the spread of West Nile virus was able to predict areas where human cases would be concentrated, especially around Sacramento in 2005. A computerized epidemiological model of the spread of the mosquito-borne virus in 17 counties of California in 2005 successfully predicted where 81.6 percent of human cases of the disease would arise and defined high-risk areas where the risk of infection turned out to be 39 times higher than in low-risk areas, according to newly published research.

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