[Via Satellite 12-26-2014] The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has released a new mobile application that coordinates information between responders and provides the latest news to the general public. Available in English and French, the app also provides an interactive map that displays both the locations of healthcare centers and, when added by users, the locations of infected persons.
During the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, officials unanimously passed the “Using information and communication technologies to break the chain of health-related emergencies such as Ebola virus transmission” resolution, which calls for the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to facilitate timely exchange of information on health-related emergencies. The agency is planning a more robust platform for humanitarian users in 2015 to further leverage social media and big data.
The ITU app operates using ultra low bandwidth requirements and can function in an offline mode. Today it is available for Android devices, with iOS soon to follow.
“We are working with other United Nations agencies to incorporate mobile technologies in the Ebola response plan,” said Cosmas L. Zavazava, chief of projects and knowledge management department at ITU. “At the same time we provide emergency telecommunications equipment to meet the connectivity needs of rural areas that have no or limited connectivity access.”