- by Gary Finnegan
Turning big data into a revolutionary and actionable Disease Surveillance and Alert System.
eBarometer is an actionable predictive tool to provide users in the field with relevant alerts of possible dengue outbreaks. It is enriched with toolkits to efficiently react to these alerts. This enables key actors to set up action plans early enough to help reduce dengue infections and minimise the effects of outbreaks. The tool is now in its inception phase: we are actively reaching out to many endemic countries for data contribution and support, and working on building a consortium with complementary skills that will help deliver the project.
The eBarometer will work by combining and weighing traditional and non-traditional data sources like diagnosed cases reports, climate data and predictions, demographics, population movement trends and results from keywords search trends. This will help to identify and predict outbreaks. These alerts will be sent to relevant audiences – government bodies, healthcare professionals, citizens, travellers etc. – who will validate or invalidate the alerts in a constant feedback loop that will continuously improve the algorithms. At this stage, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, the Mekong basin region and the Philippines have joined the project and will share ground truth data to help develop the eBarometer and benefit its value for public health authorities, health care professionals, actors on the ground and citizens.
The eBarometer is the natural extension of our Dengue Track chat box and our work on the correlation between Google searches, hot spots and epidemics together with the realization that these efforts will be more valuable, sustainable and scalable if they were integrated into a single engine, covering dengue but not only, working with all stakeholders at the table.