Disease surveillance and patient care in remote regions: An exploratory study of collaboration among health-care professionals in Amazonia

Saturnino Luz*, Masood Masoodian, Manuel Cesario

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The development and deployment of information technology, particularly mobile tools, to support collaboration between different groups of health-care professionals has been viewed as a promising way to improve disease surveillance and patient care in remote regions. The effects of global climate change combined with rapid changes to land cover and use in Amazonia are believed to be contributing to the spread of vector-borne emerging and neglected diseases. This makes empowering and providing support for local health-care providers all the more important. We investigate the use of information technology in this context to support professionals whose activities range from diagnosing diseases and monitoring their spread to developing policies to deal with outbreaks. An analysis of stakeholders, their roles and requirements, is presented which encompasses results of fieldwork and of a process of design and prototyping complemented by questionnaires and targeted interviews. Findings are analysed with respect to the tasks of diagnosis, training of local health-care professionals, and gathering, sharing and visualisation of data for purposes of epidemiological research and disease surveillance. Methodological issues regarding the elicitation of cooperation and collaboration requirements are discussed and implications are drawn with respect to the use of technology in tackling emerging and neglected diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-565
Number of pages18
JournalBEHAVIOUR AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • computer supported cooperative work
  • data compilation and sharing
  • disease surveillance
  • health information technology
  • healthcare in remote regions
  • information visualisation
  • mobile devices
  • user requirement analysis

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