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Smart mapping could help mitigate Zika: Esri

Anuradha Shukla | March 11, 2016
The technology allows users to see authoritative information clearly presented on a map.

According to Esri, smart mapping technology - also known as geographic information system (GIS) technology - could help mitigate the fear of Zika virus.

This technology can be used to enable users to see authoritative information clearly presented on a map, which helps alleviate fears and concerns of people in the city.

During the SARS (Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome) crisis in Hong Kong, residents and visitors used Esri's smart map to easily check which buildings in their neighbourhoods had, or were suspected as having, cases of SARS.

The smart map features data from authoritative sources such as WHO (World Health Organisation) and various government departments in Hong Kong, and have made healthcare initiatives more effective and impactful in the region.

"Whether its figuring out how you can deliver better health outcomes for the community or investigating how you can protect your constituents from a potential disease outbreak, the value of smart maps have brought a powerful advantage that have made healthcare initiatives more effective and impactful," said Esri Singapore CEO Thomas Pramotedham.

Public health emergency

The Zika virus has been declared a 'public health emergency' by the WHO.

This announcement has driven doctors and scientists globally to leverage smart mapping technology to learn more about the disease threatening other parts of the world.

WHO has already confirmed cases of Zika virus in over 20 countries and anticipates four million people to become infected by end of 2016. 

The socio-economic implications of a disease outbreak (such as Zika) happening in cities such as Singapore is potentially disastrous.

"And though we might never know when the next SARS or Zika virus will hit our shores, the community can take comfort in knowing that through the deployment of advanced technologies such as smart mapping - our health authorities and communities will be better prepared and equipped to respond it," added Pramotedham.


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