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Development of a tool for monitoring infectious diseases


The Software Engineering Lab (SEL) research group at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has been involved in the development of a tool for monitoring infectious diseases, along with the companies Dantia Tecnología, Viamática and the University of Murcia. The project was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Finance, Industry and Competitiveness and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI in the Spanish acronym).

Desarrollan una herramienta para la monitorización de enfermedades infecciosas

Collaborative Health is a platform for the prevention of infectious diseases, based on the collection of pertinent information from social networks, official sources and community participation. The system would detect infection hotspots and inform health and government authorities, as well as the general public. In this way, the progress of particular infectious diseases can be determined according to area and timeframe. 

Compared to other existing platforms, Collaborative Health innovates in the use of a search analogy, in other words, a passive sonar, which reports pertinent data and potential risk in a given area. 

The project has already concluded, and the tool is currently being deployed in Ecuador and Spain for the detection of diseases such as COVID-19, Influenza and Zika virus. Juan Miguel Gómez Berbís, a lecturer in UC3M’s Computer Science Department and lead researcher on the project, says that "at such a critical time in this pandemic, collaboration and information exchange among scientists is more important than ever". 

The development of the project was complex and involved a collaborative effort: "We are convinced that in the times we are living in, it represents a significant milestone and is a tool that will help citizens and health authorities to identify, prevent and act in advance of any outbreaks of new or existing diseases", says Ignacio Martinez, director of Communications and Business Development at Dantia Tecnología. Two other researchers from UC3M's Software Engineering Lab (SEL) group, Antonio de Amescua Seco and Lisardo Prieto Gonzalez, also worked on the project.