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Using Technology To Track Disease

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was a very interesting report in the journal Science that was focused on the spread of malaria in Africa.

Each year there are about three million new cases of malaria in Africa and one million deaths. It is a massive problem. Every year public health officials try to stem the spread by distributing netting and hoping to control the mosquito population. This past year they tried something else that worked very well and the rest of the world could learn from it. They monitored texts from over fifteen million cellphones and tracked the spread and actually stayed ahead of the curve anticipating and reacting to the information.

This use of technology is in its infancy tracking flu and other illnesses, but it is the wave of the future.

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