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Paper and Phones Could Soon Diagnose Ebola and HIV for $1

NEWSWEEK  by Conner Gaffey                               April 16, 2015
Diseases such as HIV and Ebola are on the verge of being diagnosed almost instantly using paper-based technology costing less than $1.

                                       Diseases may soon be tested for via paper and smartphones Getty

The devices, known as biosensing platforms, are made from cheap materials including plastic film and cellulose paper. Results are captured using a smartphone camera and sent back to hospitals or clinics for immediate diagnosis.

Current HIV diagnosis can cost up $48 (45) for a negative test and $64 (60) for a positive test. Checks for Ebola cost some $100 (95), take up to six hours to produce a result and require sophisticated diagnostic equipment, the type of which is often unavailable in western Africa where the disease is especially prevalent.

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CDC announces smartphone coaching app for Ebola workers

CGN                                                    April 17, 2015

(Scroll down for underlying press release.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a free smartphone application that provides intuitive coaching on CDC's guidelines for proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent transmission of Ebola.

Powered by 22otters, a mobile patient engagement platform, CDC's PPE app is an animated, speech-enabled, step-by-step mobile coaching tool to help healthcare workers access easy-to-follow directions for putting on and removing PPE and respirators in accordance with CDC guidelines to prevent transmission of Ebola. Following the initial Ebola app release, 22otters will release a variant of the app allowing training progress tracking and content modules customized for providers.

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Crowdsourced Mapping Could Help Prevent the Next Big Ebola Outbreak

TAKEPART.COM by Jessica Dollin                                                                     April 14, 2015

Ebola dominated headlines this past year, but the epicenter of the outbreak wasn’t on a map until after the virus had infected and killed thousands. Without geographical resources, aid workers were tasked with the challenge of navigating remote areas to locate people in need of assistance.

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Japanese Ebola test gives results in 11 minutes: researcher

AFP     April  9, 2015

Tokyo  A Japanese research team said on Thursday it had developed a field test for Ebola that gives results in just over 11 minutes -- down from the 90-minute test used now.

The breakthrough by Nagasaki University's Institute of Tropical Medicine will allow medics to move much more quickly in treating people with the haemorrhagic fever, Professor Jiro Yasuda told AFP.

"The result time was unexpectedly short," said Yasuda of the trial conducted in Guinea last month on 100 samples, of which 47 proved positive.

The Guinean government has now asked the institute and its collaboration partner Toshiba to supply equipment to roll out the test, he added.

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For Ebola patients, a way to see the faces of those helping

PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL  by Andrea Crossan                 April 7, 2015

...for those in hospitals suffering, all they see are masks and robot-looking suits of doctors and nurses caring for them. The medics must wear those protective suits to stop them from coming in contact with a patient. But some humanity is stripped away with the intimidating get-up.

Until now.

                      Jianjay Potter and Grace Zardon in Monrovia, Liberia.Credit: Marc Campos

Los Angeles-based artist Mary Beth Heffernan saw the Ebola suits on news reports. She thought about how isolating it was for the patients. And she came up with the idea of taking photos of health workers that could be attached to their protective clothing.

In late February, Heffernan travelled to Monrovia, Liberia to do just that.

She brought cameras, six printers, ink cartridges and sticky labels to print the photos on.

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United Nations General Assembly Adopts Resolution on Global Geospatial Information Management

                                             - February 26, 2015

Delegates in the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a consensus resolution last week, by which they addressed global geospatial information management. The document entitled “A global geodetic reference frame for sustainable development” (A/RES/69/266) urges States to voluntarily implement open sharing of geodetic data, standards and conventions, inviting them to improve national geodetic infrastructure and engage in multilateral cooperation that addressed infrastructure gaps and duplications, towards the development of a more sustainable geodetic reference frame.



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App enables self-reporting of possible Ebola symptoms in Maryland

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                     April 1, 2015

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore company and Maryland public health officials are announcing a smartphone and Web application for self-reporting possible Ebola symptoms.

Emocha Mobile Health Inc. said Wednesday that people returning from affected West African nations can use the app to report their temperature and any symptoms twice daily to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The federal government recommends such reporting for 21 days.

The state health agency has operated a call center since October for monitoring people known to have been in affected countries. The app eventually will link to the state's database of such individuals to automate the reporting of data to Maryland and federal authorities.

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How Did Ebola Volunteers Know Where To Go In Liberia? Crowdsourcing!

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO  by Poncie Rutsch                                                      March 25, 2015
From more than 900 miles away, Kpetermeni Siakor helped get volunteers to the right neighborhoods in his native Liberia during the height of the Ebola epidemic.

Kpetermeni Siakor (left), a Liberian who is studying in Ghana, used crowdsourcing software to help out during the Ebola epidemic. Courtesy of Ashesi University College

He did it with Ushahidi, crowdsourcing software that was developed in Kenya in 2008, when the country experienced a wave of post-election violence. The word Ushahidi means testimony in Swahili.

"The government had shut down internet connections and radio stations, so Ushahidi was born out of the need to let people know what is happening," says Siakor, 26. He's a computer science student at Ashesi University College in Accra, Ghana, and receives financial support from the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.

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Fighting Ebola with a holistic vision of big data

TECH REPUBLIC  by Mary Shaklett                                                                         March 24, 2015

Big data practitioners are learning that the laboratory know-how of computer scientists and statisticians must be matched with a holistic, 360-degree vision of the problem to be solved. TheEbola crisis is a prime example....

If big data is going to help solve health issues like Ebola, it must be incorporated into analytics that consider all of the factors shaping the epidemic. These are three of the ingredients that should be factored into Ebola analytics.

1: There are political barriers that stand in the way of obtaining data from cell phone providers that could assist researchers in determining where the disease will strike next.

2: Even if disease researchers could obtain this data, there is a need to "correct" the data for what it doesn't reveal. For example, if less than 50% of a country's population has access to mobile phones and individuals are constantly moving from village to village, how will researchers be able to verify the quality of the data they're getting unless there are people "on the ground" who can verify or provide corrective factors to the data?

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Ebola-proof tablet designed by Google rolled out in Sierra Leone disease centre

THE TELEGRAPH by Aislinn Laing                                                                         March 20, 2015

An Ebola-proof tablet that can survive being doused in chlorine and can be used while wearing gloves has been developed by Google and technology volunteers for use by health workers in Sierra Leone.


MSFStaff testing one of the Clinical Management Tablets at the Magburaka treatment centre in Sierra Leone Photo: MSF

The Android device, based in a waterproof Sony Xperia with an extra protective casing, allows medics to safely record and share patient temperatures and symptoms over days and weeks....

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