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Xabier Basogain Olabe (Donostia-San Sebastin, 1962), lecturer at the Higher Technical School of Engineering in Bilbao, is leading this project, known as Bonis. It involves developing a multimedia system in order to undertake visual monitoring of epidemiology in isolated areas of Paraguay and thus avoid the dengue plague and other febrile illnesses. The practical trials will begin shortly and it is hoped to have the first results by June.
Mr Basogain has been a Telecommunications engineer and lecturer at the Higher Technical School of Engineering in Bilbao since 1990. He works at the Department of Engineering of Systems and Automation and he formed the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV) Multimedia Group with other staff in 1997. "We began with studies of voice and image transmission in telecommunication networks with simulation, and after we went on to use in the lecture rooms this theoretical knowledge we had gained. We opened a new line of research: online education using multimedia content. Later we started to work with enhanced and virtual reality".
The lines of research undertaken at Multimedia-EHU have been precisely those that have helped Mr Basogain with the knowledge sufficient to launch the Bonis project. Two lecturers at the Nautical School at the UPV/EHU had had contact with the Paraguayan Health Sciences Research Institute, and that is where it all started. "The first conversations were in January 2009, where they set out the problem they wished to tackle". They wanted a system that would facilitate telemedicine, aimed at the most remote spots of the country and, at least to start with, at fever-related and contagious illnesses such as dengue fever. This system will provide the required tools for contacting the health authorities by the patients themselves.
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