Monday, April 27, 2009

Dealing with Swine Flu pandemic using smart phones and podcasting

Australian government agencies are advising of Swine Flu Precautions. In 2006 I presented "E-government for emergencies: dealing with a bird flu pandemic using the wireless web and podcasting" at CeBIT Australia (extended technical presentation, ANU, 26 March 2007). This discussed how wireless web technology and podcasting could be used for dealing with a possible influenza pandemic. This included providing advice to the public and to officials on what to do, using the technology to manage health resources. Students in the ANU course "Networked Information Systems" COMP2410 learnt how to design web pages for this and many of them now work in and for government agencies.

One problem at the time was, and remains, that there is no unified web based service in Australia. Each state health authority issues its own information in its own format. While this made sense when the information was issued in the form of brochures the public might pick up at their local library it makes little sense online, where the state governments are just as accessible as each other.

The Internet can also be used to keep services operating, including government, with fewer staff and where gathering of people is not possible.

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