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Wednesday 16 September 2015

App Could Help Track Diseases Before They Spread


Vecmap – In-depth Information on Outbreak of Diseases

Disease route like mosquitoes and bugs are on the rise causing great concern worldwide and yet very little is known about the distribution as well as the spread of route or the disease they tend to transmit. Gaining high quality field information tends to be costly as well as time consuming.

Vecmap resolves this issue, by providing a system and service which tends to integrate the entire process of producing risk maps in a single package which can be used by physicians. A new online database and smartphone app could be helpful in fighting diseases which tend to spread through insects and other pest before they result in epidemic.

Experts in Belgium have developed a new app and the system known as Vecmap combines satellite data together with field research in order to provide in-depth information on the outbreak of diseases.

Vecmap was developed in partnership with ERGO – Oxford, UK and MEDES – Toulouse, France and co-funded by the European Space Agency – ESTEC, The Netherlands. Vecmap provides a broad range of techniques which can be used in nature conservation commitments, pest management decision as pesticides validations.

It can be used by wide range of physicians, individually as well as supported by a group of acknowledged leaders in the field. Supported by the European Space Agency Vecmap is the work of a consortium led by Belgium based health data analysis firm Avia-GIS.

Trace Diseases & Bugs

The data collected could later on be utilised in mapping high risk areas and prevent the spread of infections before they turn into an epidemic. With the combination of a smartphone app and a large as well as powerful centralised database it tends to trace diseases and the bugs which spread them much better than before.

Presently individual authorities in public health tend to utilise various systems thus making the widespread analysis tough. The new smartphone app organizes time as well as location data from field work together with database with huge amount of information in providing researchers with new perceptions.

 The app also comprises of various data parameters, like vegetation type, soil moisture and land temperature in order to help researcher identify habitats for disease spreading bugs. Traps could then be laid in order to hook and analyse new samples.

Vecmap Approved for Broader Use

The system could be helpful to researchers in picking the best sites in conducting further test thus saving time and money. Vecmap could also utilise the data to help map high risk areas and track the diseases and the bugs which may spread with great ease. An early version of Vecmap was used in 2012, to track a disease spreading mosquito in Belgium and the technology provided help in predicting where the mosquitoes would move to next and the data was used in locating as well as eliminating them before the spread of the disease.

Vecmap has now been tested in eleven other European countries and has been approved for broader use. The manufacturers of Vecmap are hoping that it would now be picked up by health organisations and the governments in helping to track the spread of diseases in a quicker way and prevent the spread of the diseases.

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