Mobile public-health surveillance app passes 1,000 users

In keeping with the international theme of this issue, we learn from the World Health Organization that EpiSurveyor, a free program for personal digital assistants and mobile phones that aids in disease surveillance and collection of public-health data in developing countries, got its 1,000th registered user just before the end of 2009. In fact, 1,171 people have registered as of this morning, according to EpiSurveyor distributor DataDyne.

Created by Georgetown University pediatrician Dr. Joel Selanikio, EpiSurveyor was tested with the WHO's Regional Office for Africa in 2005 as an application that combined Windows-based forms design and data collection software built for the Palm OS. The current, web-based version that can collect data on mobile phones launched last June. WHO/AFRO and the health ministries of at least 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are using the software. It's also being used in Canada to track veterinary illnesses in rural Ontario.

DataDyne won the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability and a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for Healthcare, both in 2009. Selanikio is to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday.

For more:
- see this feature from the WHO
- go to the EpiSurveyor website