The potential role of mobile tools to strengthen and extend the reach of disease surveillance systems is widely recognized. Malaria eradication relies on timely and accurate data to effectively identify areas of ongoing transmission, target interventions, and measure progress toward elimination. However, a key gap curbing progress is the lack of appropriate tools for collecting, managing, and analyzing malaria data. Most data collection systems are slow and generate incomplete, inaccurate, and highly aggregated data. Elimination-ready systems must be capable of getting the right information to the right person at the right time.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaged Vital Wave to identify actionable next steps for developing mobile tools for malaria surveillance. The team interviewed global and country-level malaria experts and technology providers and used the results to map, in detail, the current and desired states of malaria surveillance and the current landscape of mobile surveillance tools. Using detailed process maps for the current and desired surveillance processes, the team facilitated a convening with technology providers and malaria program experts to identify the priority features and capabilities required for a mobile tool to successfully support the malaria surveillance activities.
Despite the gaps identified, it is clear that mobile tools and platforms can support the shift to malaria elimination and that aligning efforts and investments to build on existing technologies and progress to date is a feasible goal. A final report recommends building a multi-platform toolkit where priority features are developed across a suite of interoperable but separate platforms. Click on the links below to learn more.