Putting T-Cube to the test

Posted on April 29, 2009  /  4 Comments

“Leptospirosis is out and Dengue is in” – these are the words of the Sarvodaya Research Assistant – Pubudini weerakoon – working in Kurunegala District of Sri Lanka on the real-time biosurveillance program (RTBP). This report on Leptospirosis in Sri Lanka gives a full account of the past events.

t-cube-leptospirosisThe aim of the RTBP is to gather patient case information through the m-Healthsurvey mobile application and subject that data to real time analysis for rapid detection of emerging health events. The automated analytic and detection is driven by the T-Cube software, developed by Carnegie Mellon Universities Auton Lab, based on data mining principles. We took the weekly epidemiological reports (WER) from the past two years and put T-Cube to the test. The graphic shows T-Cube’s spatial scan snapshot of Leptospirosis outbreak and spread being detected in October 2008. However, the Sri Lankan health officials identified the outbreak and anounced it in December of 2008.

dengue paper clipNow the Public Health Officials are hammered with a Dengue outbreak. The news paper clipping reads “5 deaths in Kurunegala”, which is the district RTBP pilot is being carried out. Dengue does emerge time to time in small dozes in Sri Lanka during the rainy season. However, this year has shown a drastic increase of deaths and cases. By collecting syndrome information in real time through ubiquiteous mobile techlogy and applying T-Cube software, health officials will be able to detect adverse events much faster andearlier than they do through snail mail paper based reporting and manual analysis processes. Given that Dengue requires preventive measures to contain the outbreak opposed to curative actions, it is important that health officials detect these events well in advance to apply the preventive remedies before the disease reaches a tipping point.


  1. This document on leptospirosis is violating the scientific reporting ethics. More than 50% of this document is cut and paste from a document published by epid unit (where I’m a co-author. I would like to have some explanation from the author before I’m proceeding to the next step against this

  2. This report is a summary written by the project’s research assistant for internal use. It is not a publication that would agree with formal publication ethics. Due credit is given in the reference section to resources where information from the WWW (public domain) has been extracted. We can do two things – 1) If you tell us where your material is reproduced without proper referencing or giving due credit we can revise the report making the amendment 2) we simply remove the report from the blog; tell us what you want.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that you are not aware of the qulity of a report writen by your staff member. This report containing 17 pages including the cover page. Out of these pages 8 pages are complete cut and paste from epid units document. Following are the details of this “plagarism”

    Page 4- last paragraph
    Page 5- 1st and 2nd paragraphs
    Page 7 to 14 -all six pages
    Page 14 – complete section under special investigation
    Page 15 , 16 whole pages

    I agree that it is a public domain. But, if your organization writing reports like this (and named it as “Study of Leptospirosis outbreak in Sri Lanka In Kurunagala District -2008” which is misleading) it will show the quality of your work. Further, this document appears in WWW where not only your staff, but any person who is searching the web could find it.

    I suggest you should remove the document from public access and also I prefer to talk this so called research assistant “Pubudini Weerakoon”.

    I have no personal problems with these person. But if you know the hard work we were doing during last year to produce this report, you will realize my reacion.

  4. Communicate your unsatisfactory with me, no need to pull up Pubudini, she didn’t publish it on the web, I did.

    Agree, the results you’ve published were good and can understand the hard work put in. I have redirected the link to your report. Check it and let me know if otherwise.