Part of the discrepancy with adequate global health care during epidemics arises from a lack of a stable communications network. In the recent ebola outbreak, we saw a number of health care facilities shut down as staff were evacuated, which created a secondary and potentially more damaging issue. The communications network is critical to providing us with a way to track and identify community need to better determine the most effective allocation of resources.
What it does
World globalization and the increasing threats of globalization led to R.E.S., our Regional Epidemiology System. By connecting people to providers, we hope to lead two initiatives: Aid and detection. These are accomplished through our five core goals, which include community integration, data streamlining, global connectivity, technological innovation, and connectivity and mobilization. R.E.S. begins with a community focus — starting here in the heart of Baltimore. Due to the increasing disparity between high and low income families, dramatic need allows us to tailor R.E.S. as a pilot program for improving community health. By combining the core strengths of two APIs, Twilio and SickWeather, R.E.S. has the capability to link community provided data about health to develop a threat level index for a specific area. Through further awareness and transparency, the advanced, integrated cellular AI can give patients further information on the threat level index, potential epidemics, local alerts, and proximal solutions. Our goal is that useage of a cellular network will allow us to connect the two populations who are most likely to be affected in epidemics: Low-income families and the elderly.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Part of the difficulty in developing a system for monitoring epidemics is the differences in communities around the globe. We started here in Baltimore because it provides us with a unique platform for both first-world and third-world countries, as reflected by the race and income discrepancies.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We want to engage people in global health development. Connecting communities to clinics will help us grow a network for epidemic prevention and health care response — and we believe that R.E.S. helps us do just that.
What we learned
Epidemiology systems must be continuously updated to reflect the newest information and the hardest link will be making sure that providers can see and respond to need.
What's next for Regional Epidemiology System
Our goal is for R.E.S. to work for everyone, everywhere. After pilot testing in Baltimore, we hope to expand to communities around the globe, connecting with local NGOs, governments, and volunteers to mobilize and allocate resources and efficiently and effectively as possible.