Smartphone Monitoring System Helps Pakistan Control Dengue Outbreaks

Greg Slabodkin | FierceMobileHealthcare | November 5, 2012

An Android-based monitoring system in Pakistan is helping to control dengue outbreaks by tracking and tagging confirmed cases and the mosquito larvae that carry the disease, according to an Oct. 30 article in Technology Review. This summer, Pakistani government workers used 1,500 Android smartphones to tag each dengue case by time and location, allowing health officials to track and predict the path of the disease.

"Because of the Android phones, we could localize the outbreak to a couple of hundred houses," Umar Saif, a computer scientist at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, told Technology Review. "This year, because of the tracking system and the efforts of government employees on the ground, we could look at a map and tell if certain areas were going to develop into an epidemic." 

The monitoring system relies on actual testing of mosquito larvae and hospital reports to predict where dengue outbreaks are starting. If a specific neighborhood is suspected to be at the beginning of an outbreak, then government officials search those bodies of water where mosquitos and their larvae are likely causing the problem.