Information and communication technology in disease surveillance, India: a case study

Kant, Lalit; Krishnan, Sampath K.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;Jan2010 Supplement 1, Vol. 10, p1
Academic Journal
Case Study
India has made appreciable progress and continues to demonstrate a strong commitment for establishing and operating a disease surveillance programme responsive to the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR[2005]). Within five years of its launch, India has effectively used modern information and communication technology for collection, storage, transmission and management of data related to disease surveillance and effective response. Terrestrial and/or satellite based linkages are being established within all states, districts, state-run medical colleges, infectious disease hospitals, and public health laboratories. This network enables speedy data transfer, video conferencing, training and e-learning for outbreaks and programme monitoring. A 24×7 call centre is in operation to receive disease alerts. To complement these efforts, a media scanning and verification cell functions to receive reports of early warning signals. During the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, the usefulness of the information and communication technology (ICT) network was well appreciated. India is using ICT as part of its Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) to help overcome the challenges in further expansion in hard-to-reach populations, to increase the involvement of the private sector, and to increase the use of other modes of communication like e-mail and voicemail.


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