Foundation Projects

Health, emergency and disaster information using mobile and virtual earth technology


According to the GSM Association (and demonstrated during and after the Haiti earthquake among other disasters), mobile technologies can play a critical role in gathering and dissemination of information in all stages of a disaster.

The Health Emergency Disaster Information System (HEDIS) was part of the development of a health-centric emergency and disaster information system using SMS and geographic information technology. The project team developed a Java 2 Mobile Edition (J2ME) application that transforms user-entered information into SMS-supported formats, an Internet-based version of the data entry software, a GSM modem gateway for the delivery of SMS messages, and an interface based on Google Maps to display the aggregated data collected via SMS and through the web interface.

This project was designed to benefit the Health Emergency Management Service (HEMS) of the Department of Health (DOH), which manages the health aspect of disaster management. It will aid in the management of health emergencies by allowing access to data for better decision-making and resource allocation. The project will also be able to provide, for the first time, detailed health information on disasters in the Philippines such as type, magnitude, and efficiency of interventions. The data will provide useful information in developing policies and strategies for future disaster intervention.