Appropriate Technology

CIET has adapted modern epidemiological technologies for use in places where they are needed but not easily accessed. These technologies include:

  • Electronic Data Capture: portable electronic technology increasing effective access to information in local evidence-based planning. The electronic data capture process was developed to support local public health information management in Canada. The process utilizes portable, inexpensive palm-size personal computers and involves three stations: collecting the data, data transfer and analysis. It is the subject of a CIET master’s thesis by Ari Ho-Foster.
  • A portable plastic microscope, first developed in Eritrea, makes powerful microscopy available to areas with no electric power.
    See: Andersson, N. Primary Health Care needs microscopes. Development Forum 1985; July-August: p. 5.
  • Adaptation of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for screening tuberculosis.
    See: Wilson, S.M., Nava, E., Morales, A., Godfrey-Fausset, P., Gillespie, S. Andersson, N. Simplification of the polymerase chain reaction for detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the tropics. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1993; 87:177-180. See also: Andersson, N., Gillespie, S., Wilson, S. Culture-free microbiology. The Lancet 1992; ii:733.
  • Adaptation of the ELISA test for detection of tropical diseases.
    See: Andersson, N., Morales, A., Nava, E. et al. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in the Mexican State of Guerrero: a seroepidemiological (ELISA) survey of 20 communities. Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1990, 93: 341-346.)
  • Development of new approaches to dealing with cholera epidemics, including bedside diagnosis of cholera.
    See: Andersson, N., Morales, A., Gillespie, S. Cholera: getting the message across. British Medical Journal 1992; 304, 1243-1244.)
  • Bringing dermatology to the community level.
    See: Estrada-Castañón, R., Andersson, N., Hay, R. Community dermatology and the management of skin diseases in developing countries. Tropical Doctor, 1992, 22 (suppl 2), 3-6.
  • New approaches to the traditional questionnaire: The Bhopal Book (designed in the immediate aftermath of the Bhopal disaster) is used for data capture at the household interview. The questionnaire is pasted on the outer edges of the inside covers of an exercise book and the pages are cut or folded in half vertically, with one page per household. This prevents loose pages from getting misplaced and is easier to maintain and preserve. To view an image of the Bhopal Book in use, click here.
  • CIETmap: an adaptation of GIS technology for use in evidence-based planning. Also see: Andersson N and Mitchell S. Epidemiological geomatics in evaluation of mine risk education in Afghanistan: introducing population weighted raster maps. International Journal of Health Geographics 2006, 5:1.



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