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Track resources on map
Resource Map is a free, open-source tool that helps you make better decisions by giving you better insight into the location and distribution of your resources. With Resource Map, you and your team can collaboratively record, track, and analyze resources at a glance using a live map. Resource Map works with any computer or cell phone with text messaging capability, putting up-to-the-minute alerts and powerful resource management always within reach, wherever you go. Learn more about Resource Map on its homepage.
Set up interactive voice response applications
Listen and respond to the voice of your community. Customize your own IVR hotline systems and allow users to listen and record messages in their own language and dialect or answer questions with a mobile phone keypad. Start small and scale up to reach communities previously closed off by literacy or other barriers. Learn more about using Verboice on its homepage.
Conduct complex surveys across modes
Surveda is an open source survey tool that collects data from populations via mobile phone. Surveda was developed as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative NCD Mobile Phone Survey. Surveda will be used to collect critical information about noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries worldwide (LMICs). It is an open source tool on a common software platform, which means that Surveda is accessible to individuals and organizations interested in creating their own surveys. Learn more about Surveda on its homepage.
Make data-driven decisions about placing resources
Start by uploading several data sets: existing facility registries, information on population distribution, and road network data. Then apply filters, such as geographic area and facility type—hospitals, maternal clinics, etc.—and allow the tool to calculate the coverage area of the population for a service. Finally, test different future scenarios for additional or improved health facilities to quickly understand the impact they could have. Learn more about planwise on its homepage.
AIDA Chatbot Builder
Interact with clients conversationally with artificial intelligence
AIDA Chatbot Builder
InSTEDD began working on its first chatbot project in 2016 through a collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP’s goal for their chatbot is to aid in the organizational mission of zero hunger worldwide. In practice this has meant developing a chatbot that can aid efforts in surveying and communicating with populations at high risk of food insecurity, particularly those that are displaced and living in refugee camps. Over its year of development the WFP chatbot has already undergone a deep design, discovery and iteration process to ensure it can be durable and adapt to many different contexts.
Monitor the wellbeing of healthcare workers in hot zones
InSTEDD’s active monitoring tool began as the CARE (Check and Report Ebola) hotline, partnering with the CDC to track the wellbeing of federal workers returning from deployments in countries with Ebola outbreaks. It is now being expanded for use in future outbreaks and more routine health monitoring projects. Read this blogpost to learn more about the development of the active monitoring tool.
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Collect, transport and visualize information
Conduct group polls over SMS
Pollit is a free, open-source tool for conducting polls using text messages. Step-by-step, Pollit guides participants through polls and collects real-time results. Pollit shrinks the gap between audiences and pollers, taking the pulse of the people anytime and anywhere there’s mobile phone service. Pollit was most recently used by WFP to conduct food security surveys with refugees in the DRC and Somalia.
Aggregate data across short messaging channels
Seentags accepts incoming text messages and breaks the contents up into categories, without requiring you to tell the system in advance what your categories are. Once the information is in the Seentags system, the user can provide feedback to ‘train’ Seentags so that it learns to correctly interpret new report formats. With a built in pattern detector, you only need to tell the system what category the text is one time before it does it automatically with all future messages as well as correcting all previous entries. Text separators such as commas, dashes or periods are no longer needed in order to define, categorize and organize incoming information. Seentags automatically puts your data into a CSV file that you can then export for your future needs.
Encode disease reports to send over mobile phones
The Reporting Wheel is a non-electronic device that simplifies data reporting for the most remote workers, including those with literacy challenges. It consists of small cardboard wheels that can “encode” a series of values or pictograms to report into a number that can be sent in via an IVR, USSD or SMS, and a backend service that collects the reports and assists an administrator in defining a wheel and configuring the interactive voice responses. Because the wheels are so simple to build and are intuitive to use, health workers can train each other very rapidly and accurately on how to use them, which in large-scale deployments can translate to large costs savings in training and support.
Report and visualize instances of disease
Veegilo allows you to report and visualize information about disease instances and deaths from multiple sources and compare the information over specific time periods and locations in a shared space to easily monitor for possible outbreaks. Veegilo can be used to simplify data entry for international networks or applied at the national or provincial level.
Monitor streams of information collaboratively
Collaboratively visualize and analyze streams of data
Riff helps your team separate signal from noise and collaborate over live data. With Riff it is very simple to start monitoring multiple sources of information, delete the “noise” and map, tag, and collaborate on what’s important. Riff’s analytics scans your data and suggests correlations and patterns that aren’t immediately obvious. Data is imported and exported in real time to keep systems integrated. Read about Riff’s Mobile Emergency Information System for 2010 Haiti Earthquake
Aggregate data across multiple applications
AMesh4X is a set of libraries, services and applications that allow data to be synchronized across multiple applications, databases and files. It uses standards to represent your data and how it is changed by users, and reconciles the difference whenever two data sources are connected to each other. This allows you to see and edit data records on mobile phones (and not just “report” data), and to merge databases and maps that have been edited at the same time while users are offline. Adapters exist for Excel files, Access databases, Google spreadsheets, most Java NHibernate-compatible databases, KML files, EpiInfo, and J2ME RMS.
Connected diagnostics for healthcare data.
CDx began as a joint initiative between InSTEDD and FIND Diagnostics. Diagnostic tests are of paramount importance in global public health, but platforms for timely, scalable, and sharable reporting of diagnostic tests are lacking. CDx provides such a platform, allowing healthcare data to be shared and monitored across diagnostic services and health facilities. Read more about CDx on cdx.io.
Receive and distribute messages in a timely way
Simplify team communications with geospatial awareness
GeoChat is a flexible open source group communications technology that lets team members interact to maintain shared geospatial awareness of who is doing what where — over any device, on any platform, over any network. GeoChat allows you and your team to stay in touch one another in a variety of ways: over SMS, over email, and on the surface of a map in a web browser. Whether you are sitting at a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, or on the go with your mobile phone, GeoChat lets you react to events on the ground with maximum agility, forming cross-organizational virtual teams on the fly, linking field to headquarters, and keeping everyone on your team connected, in sync, and aware of who is doing what, and where.
Build complex and interactive SMS applications
SMS is the workhorse of mobile applications for resource-limited scenarios. mBuilder is a free and open-source tool that you can use to build scalable SMS applications without any programming knowledge. In a matter of minutes, you can design, prototype, test and launch applications that can range from simple keyword/response apps to complex tools such as chat groups or workflows. You can use mBuilder to collect, store and query data, building your own tables. Your existing applications can easily be SMS-powered using mBuilder’s API.
Integrate open-source tools in an SMS application
Nuntium is a set of services and clients that allow anyone to build SMS-based applications with uses that range from simple modem-based needs to countrywide deployments integrated with wireless operators. It is used every day in mission-critical applications including ministries of health or in crises such as in Haiti. Nuntium dispatches messages reliably to and from different sources: from SMS aggregators such as Clickatell, direct connections with wireless operators, to GSM modems and Skype via a downloadable local gateway program that runs on any computer. This allows you to start small and grow the scale of your application without changing its core code. It also integrates email and twitter, and takes care of reliable queuing, security, retries, and throttling.
Improve team coordination for disaster response
Watchfire is a simple and yet powerful system that initiates and tracks the process of building a volunteer response team with people who are geographically close to each other through phone calls and text message. Watchfire was most recently used to help the American Red Cross improve community level disaster response in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Deliver automatic SMS reminders
Remindem is a free and easy-to-use tool that allows you to set up a list of tips, reminders, alerts, and advice that people can subscribe to via text messages. Remindem sends important text reminders just when your subscribers need them, based on a schedule you define. Begin by creating your list of messages and choosing a custom keyword that people will text to your number to subscribe. If desired, you can assign a time interval to each of the messages in your list. When a user subscribes, the clock starts ticking, and he or she will receive each message at the specified time. If your messages are not linked to a specific time line, such as helpful tips for managing a chronic illness, Remindem can send them randomly.
Pollit conduct surveys over mobile phones. Learn more about the technology behind SMS surveys
Remindem sends scheduled text message reminders. Learn more about the science behind SMS reminders
Veegilo combines data from different sources for disease reporting. Learn more about disease surveillance techniques