Mobile device-based reporting system for Sichuan earthquake-affected areas infectious disease reporting in China

Biomed Environ Sci. 2012 Dec;25(6):724-9. doi: 10.3967/0895-3988.2012.06.016.


Objective: To describe the experience of the China CDC in rebuilding reporting capacity and response to the Sichuan earthquake through use of mobile phones.

Methods: Software engineering and business modeling are used to design and develop a cell phone-based reporting system. The PDA-based system used by the Field Adapted Survey Toolkit (FAST) was deployed

Results: Approximately one week after deployment of the mobile phone-based reporting system, the cumulative reporting rate reached the same level (81%) as the same period in 2007. In the Sichuan provincial pilot investigation for infectious disease, 1339 records were collected using PDAs developed and deployed by FAST.

Conclusion: The mobile-based system is recognized as a quick and effective response solution to this public health challenge. Our experience suggests that mobile-based data collection tools provide faster, cleaner, standardized, and shareable data for critical decision making. This system could be adapted as complementary to national infectious disease reporting systems after natural disaster occurrences.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • China
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Disease Notification / methods*
  • Earthquakes*
  • Emergencies*
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance / methods*