The recent call by the Africa Emergency Technology Response Forum (AETRF),for more concerted efforts to bring robust technological responses to Ebola crisis has started yielding the expected results with the latest IBM intervention. AETRF, led by Chris Uwaje, promoter of Malaria Destro Game and other African techies is an informal network of African technology professionals engaged in Ebola response on the continent and in the Diaspora.
Just last week, IBM has deployed its advanced super computing assets and capabilities in the cloud, mobile, data and analytics space to fight the spread of the epidemic, especially in the worst hit nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. By tapping supercomputing power and analytics capabilities via the cloud, according to IBM, the system is able to rapidly identify correlations and highlight emerging issues across the entire data set of messages.
With the humanitarian initiatives to curb spread of the disease in West Africa, IBM is currently looking to extend the work to analyze mobile phone signal data in order to monitor and track population movement enabling scientists to map and predict the spread of the disease. The system, a collaboration between IBM, mobile telephone companies, governments and academics, allows people in affected areas to send free text messages about Ebola to track problems and trends, with the program mapping the exact location from where it is sent.
Accordingly, IBM’s Connections technology provides health workers and administrators with a reliable and secure digital platform to work together virtually and in person, enabling them to securely share documents, identify experts, exchange video, chat and audio messages, provide updates, tap into information via mobile devices and hold virtual meetings.