AED Unveils Groundbreaking End-to-end Open-Source Solution For Mobile Data Collection

14:25:45 - 30 October 2009

GATHERdata™ Speeds Data Reporting and Analysis—Cell Phone Application Enables Efficient Data Collection in Remote Areas
Washington, D.C., October 30, 2009—AED has released the code for GATHERdata™— the most innovative platform to provide all the tools needed to collect, understand, and act on data in real time.
Using cell phones and PDAs as data-collectors that instantly transmit information to a central computer for aggregation and analysis, the easy-to-use system brings speedier reporting and fewer errors to people and projects in areas without Internet or electricity.
“This isn’t just another cell phone application,” said Holly Ladd, vice president and director of the AED-SATELLIFE Center for Health Information and Technology, whose brainchild GATHERdata ™ is. “It’s a flexible and affordable data collection system that shaves weeks off of data reporting and analysis.”
GATHERdata™ can be applied anywhere in any sector—it is now being deployed in pilot implementations aimed at  improving health and education programs in Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Uganda. Transforming the reporting process, GATHERdata™ saves all the time previously spent physically transporting piles of paper forms and entering hand-written data to a computer. With built-in Business Intelligence modules, GATHERdata integrates data analysis and report generation into a seamless process. 
“When applied to disease surveillance, GATHERdata™ can mean saving not only time, but also lives,” Ladd said. “Tracking incoming epidemiological reports, GATHERdata™ can automatically send urgent SMS or email messages to alert authorities of potentially dangerous situations.” Other applications for the platform include supply chain management, monitoring and evaluation, research, and routine data collection.
Because it is open-source, GATHERdata™ reduces the cost barriers that typically render such advanced technology out of reach for small organizations and institutions in developing countries. To support these users AED is creating a Web site for collaborative development of the GATHERdata™ code, and sharing the technology, new applications, and electronic forms.
AED worked with the Open Rosa Consortium and software firm Dimagi to develop GATHERdata™, with partial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. 
“With GATHERdata™, we’re leveraging cell phones, which half of the world’s population now uses, as cutting-edge tools for development,” Ladd said.
ABOUT AED-SATELLIFE Center for Health Information and Technology:   For nearly 20 years, AED-SATELLIFE has been a leader in developing solutions to the everyday information needs of health professionals working in communities where medical journals and the Internet are an unaffordable luxury. Through innovative applications of information and communication technology, AED-SATELIFE extends the power of knowledge and the promise of better health. www.healthnet.org 
ABOUT AED: AED is a nonprofit organization working globally to improve education, health, social and economic development--the foundation of thriving societies. Focusing on the underserved, AED's worldwide staff of 2,000 implements more than 300 programs serving people in all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries.  www.aed.org.

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