Parasitology

Research Article

New technologies for reporting real-time emergent infections

RUMI CHUNARAa1a2 c1, CLARK C. FREIFELDa2a3 and JOHN S. BROWNSTEINa1a2

a1 Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215, USA

a2 Children's Hospital Informatics Program, Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215, USA

a3 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University College of Engineering, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

SUMMARY

Novel technologies have prompted a new paradigm in disease surveillance. Advances in computation, communications and materials enable new technologies such as mobile phones and microfluidic chips. In this paper we illustrate examples of new technologies that can augment disease detection. We describe technologies harnessing the internet, mobile phones, point of care diagnostic tools and methods that facilitate detection from passively collected unstructured data. We demonstrate how these can all assist in quicker detection, investigation and response to emerging infectious events. Novel technologies enable collection and dissemination of epidemic intelligence data to both public health practitioners and the general public, enabling finer temporal and spatial resolution of disease monitoring than through traditional public health processes.

(Received January 20 2012)

(Revised May 08 2012)

(Accepted May 15 2012)

(Online publication August 23 2012)

Key words

  • Technology;
  • real-time;
  • informal;
  • crowd-sourced

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: 1 Autumn St. Fourth Floor Suite 433 Boston, MA 02215, Tel: 857-218-5108. Fax: 617-730-0267. E-mail: rumi@alum.mit.edu

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