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The United Nations must radically alter strategy in fight against Ebola

National governments meeting in the United Nations Security Council should know that they will only be able to contain Ebola by adopting a hi-tech disease management system, writes Sophia Salenius.

World leaders must realise that new innovative technologies give doctors on the ground the best chance of saving lives, and we have these advanced but easy-to-use technologies at our disposal.

Medical professionals in Africa are doing an admirable job, but they have not been afforded all of the available tools to communicate between themselves, patients and the authorities.

We have the solution to fight this outbreak, but we are not yet using it, nor are we effectively coordinating the post-treatment management effort.

What we are seeing in West Africa is a disaster that is only going to get worse and potentially spread, unless we radically alter our strategy.

Affecting Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the Ebola outbreak is already unprecedented in scope – with more than 4,000 cases having been reported across the region and over 2,200 deaths.

A digital disease-management system can change the outlook, if implemented immediately, and save countless lives. The United Nations must act before it is too late.

RegPoint has created a completely new medium through which the disease control supervisor, physician and patient can communicate, ideal for a challenge such as the emergency that continues to unfold in West Africa.

Information is delivered in a secure manner using mobile phones from doctors to members of the public, and vice versa, to allow analysis of clinical information to be conducted and to identify outbreak clusters in the different geographical areas.

It is the only solution that can identify clusters before patients arrive at a health facility.

By using the RegPoint service, West African health authorities and other professionals on the ground could easily identify the number and location of people with symptoms of Ebola. Advice and alerts can be sent to them, as well as to the healthcare administrators.

Before more people succumb to this deadly disease, the UN’s strategy has to be comprehensive and thorough. It must include the deployment of the RegPoint disease management system.

Sophia Salenius is managing director of RegPoint, a health services company focused on bringing wireless technology to the global health care community. She is a leading international expert in the IT healthcare field and won the Aegis Graham Bell Award for Mobile Health in 2013 with RegPoint’s disaster management system.

 

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