Talk: Real-time surveillance of potential epidemics

The world is experiencing an ever increasing risk of epidemic and infectious diseases. The ebola crisis served as a wake-up call as to the severity of pandemic health threats. Currently, it may take weeks from patient zero to the first aid response occurs.

What if we could collect data and event-based observations and use it to detect and respond to emerging epidemic health threats, even before it becomes a treath to the population?

The last 4 years, Norwegian Red Cross has worked with solving this problem. We have developed the methodology and technology over three iterations, lastly on Madagascar where we deployed a pilot detecting and responding to events in the communities such as animal die-off and symptoms of plague. Red Cross' biggest asset is our 17 million volunteers. Through the use of mobile technology, their reports become our signals.

The results has proven the real impact of our approach. We have the core team in place. We have the methodology. We have the support and commitment of the International Red Cross, represented in 190 countries. Our next challenge is to take this from a pilot i Madagascar to a sustainable system at a global scale.