When it comes to stopping dengue, social media posts, tweets and a web system may be just what the doctor ordered.
Researchers at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a social media-based system called Mo-Buzz that can predict where and when dengue might occur.
It combines a web system that taps into historical data on weather and dengue incidents and swift reports by the public on mosquito bites and breeding sites via smart phones and tablets.
These reports are geo-tagged to the user's location and shown live on Google Maps in the system.
These real-time information can boost the authorities' efforts to keep a constant eye on the spread of dengue and, more importantly, help in using resources more accurately and in a more targeted manner.
The system is developed by NTU at the Centre of Social Media Innovations for Communities (COSMIC), which, as its name suggests, aims to develop social media innovations to bring about self help in a more integrated society.
Mo-Buzz is a combination of a public health surveillance web application, integrated with a social media-based mobile app. By leveraging crowdsourcing and advanced computing, Mo-Buzz can potentially predict dengue outbreaks weeks in advance, and enable users to help health authorities monitor the spread of dengue in real-time using their mobile devices.
"This new capability represents a significant shift in how the spread of dengue and other infectious diseases can and will be monitored in the future," said Associate Professor May O. Lwin, the principal investigator of the programme.
"What we're hoping to do with a dynamic system like Mo-Buzz is to create active channels of communication between citizens and health authorities during the dengue season. The main advantage is that it helps everyone take preventive action well ahead of time, which is what is important for preventing dengue and saving lives."
|Contact: Feisal Abdul Rahman|
Nanyang Technological University