Vivax Update: Country Partner Technical Program - Study on mobile phone technology use for disease mapping finalized
The overall aim of this APMEN-funded study is to use and evaluate mobile technology for disease mapping and early case diagnosis in Bhutan. This study was performed in a collaborative approach between the Bhutan country partners and a specialist team from the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Public Health Information, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Thailand.
The study was being carried out in five health facilities of Sarpang district, which contributes more than 60 % of the country's malaria cases. An online information system for malaria and febrile episodes using web-based and mobile technology was developed. Health care personnel at selected health facilities were trained both at operational and management levels regarding application of mobile technology and geographical information system for decision-making.
The highlights of this project were:
• Data collected in the new electronic system are the same as in the existing paper-based data collection forms; however the system cuts off repetitive data entry and generate some pre- specifying data points making healthcare staff working more effectively.
• During routine case follow-up visits, data can be recorded directly and transmitted immediately tothe central server. The data collected on a mobile device captures more than just textual data (as in paper-based) e.g. locations and pictures. This facilitates effective case management as well as vector control activities.
• Evidence-based and traceable epidemiology reports are generated easily. Reports of key indicators can automatically be generated and used for site monitoring and on higher management levels. The data can be exported and different variables can be linked for additional analyses.
Although the APMEN funding for this project is finished, the investigators are currently in the process of securing funds for the expansion of the project to other parts of the country.
Findings and lessons learnt from this study will be published soon.
alaria cases shown on Google map