Prevention of Dengue using digital transformation
In the past few months, the incidence of Dengue fever caused by the bites of Aedes aegypti mosquito has reached epidemic levels, covering more than two thirds of Bangladesh, the highest infections being in the capital. This year, severe cases have risen and the number of patients diagnosed with Dengue fever has escalated exponentially..
According to a report of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 155 people were infected with Dengue last month and 586 more, until the 23rd of this month. However, the number was 52 in May and 295 in June last year.
Although most methods of disease prevention are based on medical approaches, recent technology is also working on the prevention of dengue using digital transformation. There are now initiatives around the world to harness ICT for disease surveillance and prevention. A group of researchers from the University of Bath are creating a digital solution for detecting the presence of Dengue, thus preventing people from suffering potential life-threatening complications. Dr. Paulo Rocha from the University of Bath's Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering is developing a low-cost integrative sensing tool for early detection of Dengue virus, using a platform containing electrical sensors to investigate the behavior of human cells infected with Dengue virus.
When someone is infected by the Dengue virus it produces proteins, particularly known as 'non-structural protein 1' (NS1) which is secreted from infected cells. Using a three centimetre squared platform, the electrical behaviour of human cells in vitro infected by different concentrations of NS1 can be observed.
The researchers believe that a better understanding of the electrical behavior of these cells, will help create a more accurate and sensitive way of detecting the presence of Dengue virus. No matter how little the concentration of NS1, if there is a correlation with a cell's electrical signal and its presence then , it can be identified if someone is infected with Dengue virus at an early stage.