Apps for Rapid Epidemiological Analysis (AREA)
Arete Associates, Ringtail Design, and the University of Texas at Austin propose a collaboration to develop transformative mobile applications ("apps") for improved epidemiological situational awareness. We propose to combine biosurveillance-data-enhanced disease spreads models, unstructured and structured data processing algorithms, decision support tools and intuitive presentation layer design to develop the system. Our approach enables a spiral development path from a system that utilizes a server to a possible transition to an apps-only system. The apps will communicate with the server, which will be evolving a biosurveillance-data-enhanced geospatial, high fidelity disease spread model. Biosurveillance data sources will include patient"case files"and epidemiologically relevant"event files"from the handheld devices. Our system"s open design will permit inclusion of other relevant sources, e.g., Military Health System Information systems. These case and event files will include text (e.g., symptoms), imagery (e.g., picture of wound or rash) and other modalities, as merited. The apps will have"lightweight"versions of server functionality so that if the connection to the server is lost, the apps will continue to provide benefit to the device user. The paralleled functionality of the app and server may allow for an eventual transition to an apps-only system.
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