Last year ebola came into the world spotlight, taking away many lives. A few cases of ebola a year are to be expected, but when critical mass was reached, they served as an example of how quick and deadly infectious diseases can be.
Our goal was to build something usable in the developing world, giving them access to critical medical information, and warning them of potential disease outbreaks. To do this, we used SMS, as internet access is limited in developing countries, yet there is high mobile penetration in such countries. Medical workers can report disease counts in their region, and based on this, we predict other regions which are at risk and alert them via SMS.
We also set out to build a practical model for the spread of infectious diseases based on discrete time equations and risk analysis, intended for worldwide use. We constructed a 3D simulation using Three.js for use by epidemiologists, or civilians interested in seeing where outbreaks are likely to spread next. This allows individuals to view the disease changing through time, as well as see real-time updating with the crowd-sourced data. Finally, since we recognized the gap in medical information available for people in developing areas, we also built services for civilians to get data about particular diseases through SMS messaging.