Global health and natural disaster alerts: preparing mobile phones to endure the unthinkable View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

2014-07-04

AUTHORS

Wladimir J Alonso, Cynthia Schuck-Paim, Ghassem R Asrar

ABSTRACT

Despite the increasingly positive role of portable communication technologies for socioeconomic development and their growing use in global health and other emergency contexts, several challenges still hinder exploring the full potential of mobile phones as effective mitigation tools in natural disasters, public health emergencies and in the aftermath of extreme disruptive events. Mobile devices are designed and advertised to withstand predominantly the demands of normal daily situations, being fraught with fragilities that limit their utility for effective communication and coordination of help in emergency situations. We discuss ways to overcome some of these limitations in the future by the incorporation of features to increase their resilience and effectiveness as aid tools at relatively low cost. Improvements in autonomous energy generation and use, based on existing and rapidly emerging technologies, as well as further improvements in physical durability and off-line operability are encouraged. We also identify the possibility to combine capabilities from other devices, such as space-based telecommunication systems and traditional two-way radios, to enhance the utility of mobile devices for these applications. The solutions we propose can help millions of citizens around the world to manage the risks and impacts of natural and health-related hazards. They should also promote further resilience to avoiding and recovering from such events, especially in vulnerable regions with limited infrastructure. More... »

PAGES

24

References to SciGraph publications

  • 2010-04. The Rise of Instant Wireless Networks in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
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    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1186/2194-6434-1-24

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2194-6434-1-24

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