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Georgia Institute of Technology
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Open Data Kit: Mobile Data Collection for Community Health Workers

Presented by Gaetano Borriello, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington

DATE: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
TIME: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
LOCATION: HSI Boardroom (207A)

Open Data Kit (ODK) is an open-source mobile toolkit specifically designed to address the mobile data collection needs of community health workers in low-resource environments.   CHWs need to make highly efficient use of their limited resources and have tools that are easily supported and extended to meet their specific needs.  ODK currently supports the OpenROSA consortium's XForms which can represent complex medical protocols along with data collection tasks.  ODK extends XForms to rich data types such as images, audio, video, and barcodes by using the Open Handset Alliance's Android phone platform.  Currently, ODK is being extended to include support for education (of both CHW and patients) and telemedicine (building diagnostic instruments around the mobile phone). ODK's largest deployment to date is with an AMPATH HIV monitoring program in rural Western Kenya and is being adopted by several other efforts around the world.  Among our goals for the coming year are to precisely evaluate the costs/benefits of employing smartphones in these contexts.

Gaetano Borriello, Professor in the Computer Science & Engineering department of the University of Washington, also holds the Noe Chair in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and is an adjunct professor in the Information School and Department of Electrical Engineering at the UW.

He has worked in mobile systems and ubiquitous computing for many years and founded Intel Research Seattle, a premier research laboratory in that space.  His research has focused on the application of technology to problems in personal health management, navigation for the cognitively impaired, and more recently, to public health in the developing world.

While on a sabbatical leave at Google for the 2008-2009 academic year, he led a project (Open Data Kit: to develop a suite of mobile tools for community health workers in East Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, working with several NGOs there.  The objective is to develop open-source software that can be easily customized for the different contexts faced by these organizations and be simple enough that they can make these adaptations themselves.
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