A smart phone based expert system for airport screening of infectious diseases : test case with the Ebola virus symptoms
Owuor, Dickson Odhiambo
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The outbreak of infectious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Influenza and Ebola require that border screening measures be instituted especially at the airports in order to minimize the risk of spreading these infectious diseases by passengers from one country to another. In the case that there is a reported outbreak of an infectious disease in a certain region; people traveling from the affected areas should be screened for the infectious disease’s symptoms before being allowed to mingle with any unaffected population. During the 2014/2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, health workers at the major airports of most countries were supposed to diagnose the travelers’ symptoms for the Ebola virus disease in person, and decide if the traveler should be allowed into the country or if the traveler should be isolated in order to undergo further Ebola virus disease tests. This process puts the health worker at the risk of coming into contact with infected travelers and it is also inefficient especially when presented with a large group of travelers. This work presents a smart phone based screening expert system for the Ebola virus disease that can be used at the airports. The expert system uses a temperature sensor and a mobile application to capture the symptoms of the traveler. This inference symptoms are analyzed in relation to a knowledge base in the expert system and the generated results are sent to a health worker’s smartphone device. The proposed system’s execution is spread across the following technology platforms: the Web platform, the Android platform, and the Java platform.