Sahana, as a reputed Disaster Management project, has the basic functionality to support many different emergency response paradigms. This was demonstrated comprehensively at an interesting meetup conducted in Sri Lanka recently. The event was conducted with the presence of Chamindra De Silva, who is a Director of the Sahana Software Foundation, and Tom Worthington, a Member of the SSF and a juggernaut in the field of Computer Science, on the 7th of May 2013. The event was hosted by Virtusa (Pvt) Ltd at their premises.
A large number of participants attended the discussion, including medical representatives from the Epidemiology Unit of Sri Lanka and the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, as well as professionals from the Computer Science domain.
It was a unique event as the discussion revolved around ‘Using Mobile and Web for an Influenza Pandemic response‘ with focus on using Sahana’s products as the platform for building an effective Epidemic/Pandemic Management System. Some of the most exciting ideas that were generated were:
- Dynamic heatmaps based on Sahana’s situation maps to show the spread of a particular disease.
- Capturing symptoms through a General Practitioner’s mobile device and syncing with the system using the web service layers in Sahana’s products.
- Outbreak alerts to be sent to concerned parties using alerting mechanisms built in to Sahana products.
The ideas above demonstrate how Sahana could be theoretically applied not only for emergency response for natural disaster situations, but for health-related emergencies such as epidemics and pandemics as well. Many ideas were generated and shelved for further discussions which are going on to this day. A great deal of interest was generated as we had representatives from various domains who are well-versed in the application of computer systems to alleviate major issues faced by humanity.
Our sincerest thanks goes out to all who assisted in organizing the event, and to Tom for gracing us with his presence.