Bringing Semantics to Diagnosis & Prevention in Developing Countries

OnlineTMD reports, "'A Mercedes Benz isn't designed to function in the Sahara Desert,' notes Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer of the University of California, San Diego. 'So why are we designing medical equipment for developing countries the same way we do for developed ones?' It's a question researchers at the new Distributed Health Laboratory in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego aim to address, and eventually, to render moot. In collaboration with the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique, Calit2's DH Lab is designing low-cost medical devices such as microscopes and wireless sensing devices that can be used by virtually anyone anywhere in the world to prevent and even diagnose illness."

The article goes on, "The members of the lab envision this suite of tools as eventually comprising (to use a term from 'Star Trek') a global 'Tricorder' -an 'open-health stack' of medical devices, apps and cloud-infrastructure that will support medical providers and give individuals increasing autonomy over their own health… 'Ultimately, we're trying to take the semantic Web and use it to create a 'global pulse' that's always on,' explains [Co-Director Albert Yu-Min] Lin. 'We can see this being used to take the global pulse during key moments in history -- say during Carnival in Rio, or during the revolution in Libya.' Or adds Dr. Aronoff-Spencer, the app could be used to track outbreaks of diseases such as SARS and influenza."

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ sam_churchill