Preventing health epidemics with crowdsourced dataBy Brazilian Ministry of Health
Project URL: https://guardioesdasaude.org/
Brazilian Ministry of Health
The Olympics brings large numbers of people together from every corner of the globe – a perfect mix of bodies, germs and warmth that easily enable the spread of disease. This year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio were no exception, with added tension driven by the Zika epidemic in South and Central America.
Building on the success of the FIFA World Cup 2014 mobile application Saúde na Copa, the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Skoll Global Threats Fund, developed a smartphone application called Guardiões da Saúde (‘Guardians of Health’ in English), to help people in Rio de Janeiro stay healthy during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The free app, which is available on Android and Apple phones, asks users to voluntarily provide daily updates on their state of health, answering a series of simple questions around symptoms like cough, fever and diarrhoea.
The app is available in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Chinese, as well as Portuguese, and also offers other services through geolocation, recommending nearby health services and pharmacies, as well as information about prevention and treatment for a range of conditions.
The app allows authorities to monitor symptoms in real time and within crowds, which then enables them to prevent and monitor any outbreaks. The data is collected by the Center for Integrated Health Joint Operations at the Ministry of Health, which can act quickly on a local, state and national level.
The Ministry of Health has not yet released results from the app’s run at the Rio Games in 2016, but the principle behind Guardiões da Saúde has great potential to help manage public health in the future. Find out more at https://guardioesdasaude.org
Image courtesy of Tina Franklin
Last updated: 19th of September, 2016