Mobiles for Managing Epidemics

Source: Guardian

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and academics at the University of Illinois are working on applications that would allow carriers of GPS-equipped mobile handsets to receive warnings of potential disease outbreaks in their area, according to an article this morning in Technology Review.

"During an outbreak or emergency, getting good info to the public rapidly about what they need to do protect themselves is vital and can save lives," says CDC spokeswoman Jennifer Morcone. "Avoiding certain foods, avoiding certain areas, wearing a mask…all those messages are delivered through a number of channels by the CDC during outbreaks and emergencies and we know that getting information to people when they need it is vital."

Similar systems have been trialled in Hong Kong, where subscribers to operator Sunday Communications were able to get an SMS message telling them they were near a potential SARS hotspot.

As new health threats emerge, and governments realize the difficulty of managing public emergencies (think of hurricane Katrina), they will rely more and more on new mobile applications and technologies such as GPS to get information out quickly. Look for bird flu map mashups in the near future!

| January 18th, 2006 | Posted in New Applications |

2 Responses to “Mobiles for Managing Epidemics”

  1. Lawrence Wasserman, Phd Says:

    As a international consultant working overseas for the past 20 years communications is the key. Having worked for the World Health Organization and U.S. Public Health Service, education and raising awareness to health issues is the key to prevention and reducing panic in emergency conditions. Mobile learning is becoming an ever increasing tool to knowledge sharing and for learning of key factors of health issue. Fortech has developed an Avian Course as a demo to test one knowledge of the potential epedimic. Please go to user name drlarry pass hotlava and take the test to assess ones knowledge.

  2. broadband price comparison Says:

    Managing high call volumes People are increasingly picking up their mobile phones during disasters to check family and friends are safe

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