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University of the Basque Country develops system for identifying illnesses in Paraguay
Date:3/25/2010

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The team involved in the Bonis project is made up of three university teachers (including Mr Basogain) from the Multimedia-EHU Group and another two from the Nautical School, and with the Paraguayan Health Sciences Research Institute collaborating. Funding came through the UPV/EHU and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After a number of trials over the past year, a multimedia system based on free software was designed. "Nowadays what is involved is programming a language, installing software, equipment, and so on. We did not have to invent anything, but only identify technologies, develop their applications and integrate them", explained Mr Basogain.

The whole system is triggered by a simple phone call from the user who responds to the questions about his or her symptoms from an automatic answering machine. As regards personal data, if the patient is already registered, his or her identity document number is sufficient for the automatic answering machine to retrieve their medical history and postal address. If this is not the case, there is the option of registering at the moment of making the call. "In a conversation of one minute we have registered your fever symptoms and the system knows who you are and where you live. It is subsequently able to draw up a list of how many calls have been made that day, each with its medical profile, so that the supervisor can say if there is a possible outbreak of an epidemic", explained Mr Basogain.

The computer storing this database is located at the Office of the Director General of Health Monitoring in the capital, Asuncin. The community agents at these headquarters have been working for some time now taking house to house analyses. If the new system functions according to plan, their work will be more effective. According to Mr Basogain, "today they make these visits in a random manner and maybe do not get to the dwelling where the ill person is, simply because they do not know that
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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