In the Amazonas state of Brazil, containing dengue fever is a constant challenge due to heavy rainfall during most of the year, and local methods for storing water in homes—both of which have been shown to promote mosquito breeding. The state health department must warn households constantly about the dangers of behaviors
that encourage mosquito proliferation. Despite these difficulties, the state is one of the most efficient at containing the spread of the virus relative to other states in Brazil, due partly to its partnership with Nokia on the Data Gathering mHealth initiative.
The Nokia Data Gathering system enables fast and effective data collection, which is essential to containing the spread of the dengue virus. Development of the software began in the first quarter of 2007 and it was piloted in different regions of Brazil during that same year. The Amazonas Health Department undertook the first full implementation of the solution, which began in October 2008.
Data Gathering allows the creation of customized questionnaires, which are distributed to the mobile phones of health agents in the field. When the field workers finish their surveys, they send the data back to the server via a wireless connection, from which it can be integrated into the organization’s existing systems for immediate analysis. Data Gathering also provides GPS location information for each record, which would otherwise require dedicated instruments.
The goals of the project are all about saving time to save lives.
Results of Data Gathering implementation to date are highly encouraging. The project team’s preliminary evaluation has shown that the time spent in data gathering was drastically reduced, and end-user acceptability has been very high so far. Even before the full implementation, more than 400 results were gathered during the tests by a team of 20 field professionals in the course of two days, all with GPS information.
Purpose: Improving Data Management (Collection)