Our system captures field information from farmers and veterinarians about livestock health via mobile phones.
Here’s how it works;
At the front end the platform a user reporting a single case of disease in his area personally inputs the data into the platform via text or voice messaging to generate a report that is sent in real-time to a centralized database where the information is safely stored. The front end functionality is built mainly using IVR technology which does not require human interaction over the telephone as the user’s interaction with the database is predetermined by what the IVR system will allow the user to access.
At the backend, what Shepherd does next is to use a technique from Artificial Intelligence (AI) called statistical machine learning to understand patterns in the reports received. In other words, it begins to recognize which report is in which category type of disease. Shepherd will then auto-classify new reports that are related to these categories (and can auto-classify around 2 millions text messages per minute). And when a risk is identified, alert messages are created and delivered to farmers automatically notifying them of a possible outbreak through their own mobile. All information is well-tailored to the farmer’s needs and presented at the right time and in the right amount. It also links them to other places they can receive further support.
The same message is sent to the closest responder (veterinarian, extension officer etc.) in the district or sub-district via a similar platform on the responder’s smartphone. Once the responder receives outputs, including geo locations, and work task list, they must take immediate action. This list may include case detection, checking vaccination coverage and use, education about disease prevention and response strategies. In addition, the responses carried out and their key operational details (e.g. timing, coverage, supply tracking) will be reported back to the surveillance system for supervision and monitoring purposes.
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