Washington D.C, Dec 16 (ANI): With the development of a revolutionary new app, an easy, fast and reliable way to record global causes of death on tablets and mobile phones has come into being.
Worldwide, two in three deaths – 35 million each year – are unregistered. Around 180 countries that are home to 80 per cent of the world’s population do not collect reliable cause of death statistics.
The app is the result of a decade-long global collaboration, led by the University of Melbourne and researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
The paper explains the process behind the app. The research team redesigned a short ‘verbal autopsy’ questionnaire and tested it in India, the Philippines, Mexico, and Tanzania. The app was then field-tested in China, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea.
Researcher Alan Lopez said in the age of big data, we still know next to nothing about what kills people in poor countries, adding “Without accurate cause of death information, we can’t monitor disease and injury trends, we can’t keep track of emerging health problems and we don’t have any markers to show us whether programs and policies are actually working.”
He added, “So if you live in a country where no-one is dying from malaria, then why are you pouring money into malaria-prevention programs? And conversely, if people are dying from lung cancer, why aren’t you investing in tobacco control?”
Lopez noted that up-to-date, reliable information on what people are dying from and at what age, is really important for policies to prevent premature death. The app provides a way to do this, quickly, simply, cheaply and effectively, in real time, with the power of technology.
The study appears in BMC Medicine. (ANI)