Mobile phones could help fight bird flu
A trial of new mobile phone software designed to help
fight avian influenza will soon begin in Indonesia.
The mobile phone handset application was developed jointly by the GSM Association
, and is already being trialed in Rwanda for HIV/AIDS
monitoring. The trial for bird
in Indonesia should begin in November.
The application will allow health workers in the field to use handheld
devices to submit critical health data to authorities in real time, the two
developing organisations said.
The aim is to allow health workers to use their mobile phones to report
disease outbreaks, drug inventory levels, patient treatment status and other
important information to a health management information system developed by
Health officials can view, analyse and respond to vital data immediately,
the organisations said in a statement.
â€œThe efforts of the international health community to control pandemics, by
getting life-saving drugs to those in need, depend heavily on a comprehensive
and accurate picture of what is happening on the ground,â€ said Rob Conway, CEO
and member of the board of the GSMA
, a trade grouping of mobile phone operators worldwide.
â€œWhen a disease is spreading rapidly, health authorities need information that
is bang-up-to-date. Mobile networks, which are now widespread in the developing
world, are the best and most immediate way to get them that vital data.â€
Health workers can also use the software to order medicine, send alerts,
download treatment guidelines, training materials and other information, the
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