Hotline to Predictive Healthcare
What started as a phone line for people worried about dengue has grown into a sophisticated early warning system for outbreaks.
William Aryitey |
Epidemics are tracked in many different ways around the world. The CDC in the US uses interconnected hospital information systems to compare and integrate signals. Google Flu Trends tracks search queries for certain symptoms across time periods and locations. But in many regions high-tech methods like these aren’t possible – the right infrastructure isn’t in place, and it would be too difficult and expensive to implement. In Punjab, Pakistan, not all hospitals have a shared database of records, and the vast majority of the population doesn’t have Internet access. In these circumstances, how can we get the data we need?
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