University students come up with smart way to identify dengue hotspots

Good job: The group of four from Faculty of Electrical Engineering, UTM (from left) Chin, Yong, Tan, Lim and Dr Yeong showing the We Alert mobile apps which is expected to be launched by this year end. Photo: NORBAITI PHAHARORADZI

JOHOR BARU: Smartphone users will be able to check on dengue outbreaks by accessing a new mobile application set to be launched this year.

A group of students from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) have come up with a smart application to identify dengue hotspots in an effort to alert the community on dengue cases nationwide.

Its team leader Yong Bong Xiang, 21, said the “We Alert” mobile application was designed to provide users with a platform not only to to be alert on the issue but also contribute by alerting others.

“By having this mobile app, users can simply search and identify dengue outbreak areas by viewing the “Dengue Zone”, which also indicates the level of seriousness with different colours.

“It comes in three colours of red, yellow and green which indicates dangerous, moderate and low levels of seriousness, respectively,” he told reporters during a press conference at UTM.

He hopes that the application, which is still under development, can be fully completed and launched with other relevant functions for public use by year-end.

The group of four from Faculty of Electrical Engineering, UTM included Yong, Jason Lim Ji Chen, 21, Chin Linn Kern, 21 and Tan Ru Dei, 20.

“We adopted a similar concept as the Waze mobile application, popularly used for traffic alert, to develop the application.

“With just a click, the authorities could also benefit, as they can easily take the necessary prevention measures,” said Yong.

Meanwhile, their lecturer who also supervised their project Dr Yeong Che Fai said they were using the Predictive Modelling System method under the Microsoft Azure clock software to build the mobile app, which started in March this year.

“The invention was hatched from the vast dengue reports gained from all sorts of sources including the newspaper, social media and statistic given by Minister of Health and hope it could help save people’s life,” he added.

The group also aim to add other functions into the application such as alerts on break-in cases, Ebola disease cases and also missing person cases.

Yeong added that so far several government agencies have showed interest in collaborating with them including the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit.

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Health , Southern Eastern Region , dengue


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