A dengue hotspot prediction tool from Manila won big in NASA Space Apps Challenge, the aeronautical agency’s international hackathon. The initial round was held last October 18-20, 2019 with over 29,000 participants in 71 countries, with De La Salle University (DLSU) as the local host.
Among six global finalists, Project AEDES was recently awarded “Best Use of Data”, meaning a solution “that best makes data accessible or leverages it to a unique application”. The big data tool utilizes data from climate stations, Google searches, and satellite maps to predict potential dengue hotspot seasons and locations. This way, concerned task force units will be able to properly and efficiently allocate manpower and resources.
Aiming to help address the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of “good health and well-being”, the project was inspired by the enormous amount of local dengue cases in 2019, which increased by 92% from the previous year. The tool is an exercise in deriving action from the available wealth of data, which the team argues to be the essence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It’s not enough to just have data. You also need to generate insight from the data, and more importantly, you have to generate action from the insight. You need those three things for anything to work, and companies struggle with this deceptively simple rule,” said Dominic Ligot, the lead for Project AEDES.
“There are companies who have a lot of data, but they don’t know what to do with it… and then on the flip side, you have decision makers who take action without the benefit of insight and data. You add all of that, and you have the social problems that we have today.”