- by Gary Finnegan

Launch of crowdsourced dengue fever tracker

Dengue track is a new way to track dengue outbreaks.

Innovative Dengue Track initiative turns big data into actionable information 

People from all over the world now have the chance to report cases of the disease in their area and get tailored advice on how to avoid infection.

Brought to you by our team here at Break Dengue, Dengue Track is a novel approach to disease mapping which could also be used to tracking Zika virus or Malaria.

Through a user-friendly online chat system, the tool will build a crowdsourced map of dengue outbreak. Users – known as Dengue Trackers – can access free toolkits to help them reduce their risk of dengue fever while providing details of outbreaks.

Try it now

Dengue fever is a potentially-fatal disease that infects 390 million people per year at an annual global cost of US$8.89 billion. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 40% of the global population lives in high-risk areas.

Improved disease surveillance is essential to tackling dengue, according to the WHO Global Strategy for Dengue Prevention and Control 2012-2020, but gathering accurate data from traditional sources has been challenging. Dengue Track is helping to fill this gap.

Dengue track offers a new way to map infectious diseases.

The 4Vs of big dengue data

Dengue Track is unique. It collects an unprecedented volume of data by adding crowd surveillance and data from social media and search engines to existing official data. This variety of sources offers a 360˚ view of the disease.

“Not only that, but it does it fast,” says Nicholas Brooke, Director at Break Dengue. “The velocity of data collection and processing allows for modeling and targeted alert systems in close to real time. And, perhaps most importantly, this multi-layered approach delivers veracity. The model is more accurate because the volume and variety of data sources helps to correct errors that may arise in any individual source.”

What can you do?

First, users can visit the site and use the system for themselves. Then they can sign up to become a dengue tracker, and share. “We need to mobilize an army of dengue trackers if we are to meet our shared goal of reducing the burden of dengue fever,” says Nicholas Brooke.

Users are also invited to embed Dengue Track on their websites. Contact the Break Dengue team to learn more.

What’s new?

This self-learning digital surveillance program is highly innovative.

Dengue Track:

  • Provides actionable push-pull surveillance, combining close to real-time data with the ability to push it to the right audience at the right time
  • Taps into multiple sources to deliver an overall correlation higher than the sum of the individual data sources
  • Integrates all stakeholders and allows them to take an active role, proving authorities and NGOs with a valuable resource
  • Offers value to the audience by providing actionable surveillance data which citizens can use
  • Is a scalable model which can be extended to all digital channels and expanded to other diseases such as Zika and malaria
  • Applies self-learning techniques by providing the audience with an opportunity to endorse or correct the model