Saturday, August 11, 2012

Text messages are being used to communicate data on health problems related to recent Philippine flooding

Geraldine Ducusin in  Devastating floods in the Philippines over the past week have provided the first test of a recently upgraded rapid alert system using text messaging to provide data on disease outbreaks during natural emergencies.

Officials from the country's department of health (DOH), which was responsible for developing the 'Surveillance in Post Extreme Emergencies and Disasters' (SPEED) system, say that it is too soon to quantify an apparent reduction in health  problems resulting from the upgrade.

However, they say that the new system has already significantly reduced response times to medical emergencies, such as the potential outbreak of fatal diseases in evacuation centres, hospitals and other health facilities.

SPEED enables health officials and workers to use mobile phone text messages to send in reports on communicable and non-communicable health conditions, and to monitor health trends.

Data sent this way are collated and analysed by the SPEED server based in Manila, allowing government emergency officials to respond quickly to local situations and immediately offer health services, preventing the possible outbreak or spread of diseases....

A shanty town in Manila beside the Manila City Jail, shot by Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

No comments: