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Scientists use cell phone records to predict spread of malaria

December 28, 2009 [with thanks to Philipp Budka for the link]

University of Florida researchers at work on a malaria elimination study in Africa have become the first to predict the spread of the disease using cell phone records. The scientists analyzed more than 21 million calls to determine how often residents of Zanzibar travel and where they go. A semi-autonomous region composed of two islands off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, Zanzibar has drastically reduced malaria in recent years. Its government commissioned the study as part of deliberations on whether to launch a total elimination campaign.


One Comment leave one →
  1. December 28, 2009 1:35 pm

    Fascinating. Reminds me of Richard Rogers’ recent professorial lecture at Amsterdam. Among many other aspects of ‘web epistemology’ he talks about Google Flu Trends, launched in 2008, ‘which anticipates local outbreaks of influenza by counting search engine queries for flu’, see

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