Open source software to track epidemics

Posted on Dec 15, 2007 By : Mizake Laziaf
India: New software developed by Zyxware Technologies is about to revolutionize the way information is collected and processed in tracking diseases like Chikungunya and Dengue. The software is being dedicated to the nation as Free Software under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Although the software was developed for the State of Kerala, India, the GNU GPL will allow it to be downloaded and used for free by any other government in the world.

The software is web based and allows Hospitals to report cases of diseases as soon as they are registered at the hospital. The software seamlessly integrates with the existing manual process by allowing hospitals that does not have any web access to send paper based reports to data entry operators who can enter them into the system or send soft copies of the reports that can be imported automatically. The system allows secure login with role based privileges for different roles like Government.

Medical Official, Hospital Staff, Data Access Operators and System Administrator. The GIS interface uses Google maps to present the data on a real time basis on a map of the state. Cases of diseases are represented by markers on the map and
easy visual analysis of the pattern and extent of spread of diseases is possible.

The GIS and reporting interface processes the cases registered and present reports that can be used by the Health Department to monitor the situation on a real time basis and take precautionary measures if required. Such a system will help in preventing occurrences of disease outbreaks of the scale experienced by the State of Kerala in the last couple of years.

Main objectives in releasing the software as Free and Open Source Software is to promote the fact that it is possible to develop state of the art software at very low costs and a developing country like India does not have to languish behind other IT leaders in any areas.

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