Joel Johnson has a great piece up today on EpiSurveyor and it's founder, Dr. Joel Selanikio. EpiSurveyor is open source software built for PDAs and cellphones designed to monitor health trends in developing nations. In these countries, internet access is often spotty or unavailable, and travelling to remote villages to collect data on thousands of citizens using paper forms is slow and impractical. Using Dr. Selanikio's software, health officials can now travel to these areas equipped only with a cellphone and gather health information about rural citizens, and upload the data to a central server via SMS.
Selanikio points to one example where EpiSurveyor has already been a great benefit: the Zambian Health Ministry. They used the software to conduct their first-ever malaria survey and were able to reorganize shipments of medicine to villages that were in need of it within weeks. In addition to donations for the project, Dr. Selanikio is most in need of help building a sustainable business model to keep this revolutionary idea going. If you have the experience and would like to help, visit the site and get in touch. [EpiSurveyor via BBG]