India has the largest number of dengue cases in the world, contributing approximately 34% of the global burden. The framework for a geospatially enabled early warning and adaptive response system (EWARS) was first proposed in 2008. It was meant to be a decision support system for enhancing traditional surveillance methods for preventing mosquito-borne diseases in India by utilizing remote sensing data and fuzzy logic-based mathematical predictive modeling. This conceptual paper presents a significant evolution of EWARS such that it synthesizes inputs from not only traditional surveillance and reporting systems for dengue but also from the public via participatory disease surveillance. Two smartphone-based applications have been developed to support EWARS. The first—MOSapp—allows field health workers to upload surveillance data and collect key data on environmental parameters by both direct observation and via portable microclimate stations. The second—DISapp—collects relevant information directly from the community to support participatory disease surveillance. It also gives the user a real-time estimate of the risk of exposure to dengue in proximity to their home and has an educational component that provides information on relevant preventive measures. Both applications utilize a new mosquito abundance measure—the mosquito perception index (MPI)—as reported by the user. These data streams will feed into the EWARS model to generate dynamic risk maps that can guide resource optimization and strengthen disease surveillance, prevention, and response. It is anticipated that such an approach can assist in addressing gaps in the current system of dengue surveillance and control in India.
- Geospatial applications
- Participatory disease surveillance
- Public health