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SMSanté - UPDATED Nov 6th

Using SMS technology to provide information about existence/ proximity of Ebola in a particular location.

Photo of Hack Ebola @ NYU ( #HackEbolaNYU)

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Update Nov 6th : The There is No Limit Foundation is supporting the development and implementation of this project on the ground in West Africa. This organization is part of a West African Task force created to fight the disease and are working with the First Lady of Guniea's foundation directly to implement initiatives on the ground. 

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SMSanté is a robust way of putting Ebola data in the hands of those who need it most. With SMSanté, Ebola information for any African village, town, or city is just an SMS away, making this ideal for those planning travel, visiting loved ones, or trying to map the epidemic. Since SMS penetration in Africa is 75% and growing, we think this is the best way to keep everybody in the loop. And it’s in French, so we can get in touch with the 96.2 million Africans who speak it.

Currently, Africans are largely in the dark about where Ebola is, simply because there isn't yet an efficient way to push that data to them. What SMSanté does is give every African a free path to the world's wealth of Ebola information, using already-existing SMS infrastructure. This solves an entire retinue of problems, allows citizens of affected countries to make better and more informed decisions, and grants people on the ground knowledge of how to protect themselves and their loved ones against this disease.

We've already designed a functional implementation of the system; what we plan to build is a version scaled for robust deployment. In concrete terms, this means hosting the system on a dedicated server (Apache), refining our usage of the Google Maps API to accommodate high loads, and customizing our feedback based on users' regions. We'll also be migrating our data from JSON to a formal database like SQL, so that we can handle a country's worth of usage.

- Arnav Sood & Pamela Wu 



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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Arnav, Pam and team, I'd like to share a research post from another challenge but which is a key issue in this challenge and I think SMSante could help tackle it:

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