The Sivagangai District (Tamil Nadu, India) Deputy Director of Health Services (DDHS), Dr. Raghupathy, compared the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP) to a comprehensive machine with multiple flavors that can give the required surveillance results with the touch of a button. Kurunegala RE (Region Epidemiologist, Sri Lanka), Dr. Hemachandra’s words were “RTBP will give a booster to surveillance in our region”. Evaluation planning workshops took place in Karraikudi, Tamil Nadu and Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.
The main problem, identified by India and Sri Lanka health workers, with the Rural technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) developed m-HealthSurvey mobile application, was in the look up content. The application allows for the user to search for a disease name by typing a few characters of the name. Upon selection predefined symptoms and signs are auto-displayed, giving the user the option to edit those values, if needed. The Health Workers using the application to send patient case information, expressed the need for full list of all possible symptoms and signs, associated with each disease; then all they have to do is delete and not enter. Entering is cumbersome for those user; especially in Sri Lanka, who are not familiar with the spelling of symptom and signs.
After showcasing our work at ICTD2009 (see poster), where our work: real-time biosurveillance program (RTBP) was highlighted along with Bill Gates in a Qatar media article, Prof. Artur Dubrawski (Director Auton Lab) and I returned to Sri Lanka to engage in work related to our pilot project: RTBP. Prof. Dubrawski’s visit included a workshop on T-Cube web interface in support ot the RTBP for the RTBP researchers at Sarvodaya head quarters in Moratuwa (see workshop program), a colloquium on Machine Learning in Support of Biomedical Security for the faculty and students at the University of Colombo School of Computing, and participating in the health worker m-HealthSurvey training program in Kuliyapitiya. The work under taken, April 21 – 25, is elaborated in the trip report.