Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog
Digitization of Ebola Health Records Enhances Treatment
Finally some good news in the fight against the highly fatal Ebola virus. As many news outlets have noted, healthcare systems in the West African nations face serious challenges when treating communicable diseases. Lack of reliable supply chains, threats of rebel disruption, low public awareness, and complex government demands all contribute to slow response times and inefficient efforts. Things that we take for granted, like sterilization procedures and detailed record keeping, have spotty availability to the people in those areas; but some good news may be on the horizon.
In accordance with efforts to contain the disease and help physicians on the ground, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed a digitization and electronic records keeping system for deployment. Considering that current methodology has workers writing on white boards, memorizing patient information, or simply shouting data across rooms to each other, this technology has the potential to greatly increase the efficiency of treatment coordination. Utilizing hardened tablet technology, physicians can take their information even into areas where environmental conditions may be rough; reaching the poorest (and most vulnerable) parts of the population. By utilizing a cloud computing storage solution in conjunction with the digital scanning, even if the hardware is stolen or destroyed the information is saved for further use.
Hopefully with the introduction of improved treatment infrastructure this terrible affliction can be regulated to the wilderness it emerged from. One day we may only know of it from medical textbooks and case studies, but for now these technologies are helping health workers worldwide fight the diseases affecting all of us.