We have been writing about big IT companies, such as Microsoft and Alphabet fighting mosquitoes with latest innovations. Here is the story an Indian company using IOT to fight vector borne diseases. We have the CEO of TrakitNow, Satish Cherukumalli, with us to explain how the technology works.
- How did the idea of using IOT to track mosquitoes come about? Even the most imaginative would consider the task daunting.
We started our IoT journey in Connected Vehicles vertical. We later challenged ourselves to use IoT to improve quality of life. With this goal, we came up with Emergency Response platform for Police, Public Transit and Cab Safety applications. In early 2016, we approached MoUD to present our applications and see the fit in Smart cities strategy. As part of these discussions, we were informed about vector borne disease impact in Smart cities and we were challenged to see if we could use our IoT knowledge to address this problem. We took up this challenge even though it is a risky proposition as our team strongly felt that this will give us an opportunity to make difference in public health space.
In second phase, we plan to use drones to identify larvae density in water bodies which will help a great deal to control mosquitoes.
- How does the technology work? What sort of success have you seen so far?
Smart Mosquito Density Monitoring System operates autonomously, and use state-of-the-art IoT (Internet of Things) technology to provide real time mosquito population data by location and species. Smart Trap uses sensors to measure wing beat frequency of mosquitoes which is then used to identify the species. This data along with location and time is sent to our cloud real time. We use real time data to provide the following benefits,
- Mosquito density heat maps by location, gender and species
- Prioritize areas to spray based on mosquito density, gender and species
- Analytics to monitor effectiveness of sprays
- Predictive analytics on growth of mosquito borne diseases based on current mosquito count, humidity, temperature, water bodies etc
- Citizen app for social integration
- Collect and analyse disease occurrences
- Given the diverse geography of India, what challenges do you foresee in implementing the technology?
Real time transfer of data requires reasonable network connection. Availability of good network in remote areas might be a challenge.
4. Earlier this year, genetically modified male mosquitoes were tested in Maharashtra to control mosquito population. How does your solution compare with the GM one?
Our solution provides means of verifying the need and effectiveness of vector controls. Vector control methods can be pesticides or genetically modified mosquitoes or other any other combination of approaches, our system will help to track mosquito population changes. Real time information provided by our platform is critical in designing effective vector control strategies irrespective of vector control methods used.
5. What other applications can you foresee apart from fighting vector borne diseases?
We are planning to use similar technology to identify agricultural pests in future. This will help in synchronizing pesticide application by farmers thereby improving chance of better control.
6. What are the environmental implications of your solution?
There are no negative impacts from the solution on environment. This solution helps to make the fumigation process efficient thereby reducing the impact of widespread application of pesticides on environment. In addition to this, impact of pesticides on human health is also reduced.
You can see the attached document for details of the solution.
Mosquito borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Chickengunya, Zika etc are posing a great challenge to quality of life in cities and leading to loss of life. These diseases are causing a strain on public health system and also impacting local economy. Currently cities do not have real time data to identify the areas that need spraying and pesticides that needs to be sprayed. Usual practice is to use a broad spectrum of pesticides to cover several species of mosquitoes. This leads to adverse impact on the environment resulting from side effects of pesticides. In addition to this, mosquitoes develop resistance to pesticides. Cities do not have real time data to monitor the effectiveness of sprays which may lead to pilferage. Our innovative technology will enable the cities to get real time mosquito data by area, species and gender. This data will be used to prioritize the areas to spray and subsequent monitoring effectiveness of sprays. We are developing a new, affordable Smart Mosquito Density Monitoring System that would operate autonomously, and use state-of-the-art IoT (Internet of Things) technology to alert health and human services agencies of the need to treat geographic areas, in an effort to control the mosquito populations responsible for the spread of vector-borne diseases. This system is cost effective and has a good rate of return. Market potential is worldwide which helps us to offer it at lower costs with volume. We are the first company in the world to launch at city levels.
What is the problem we are solving?
Vector borne diseases are having adverse impact on life, public health system and local economies. Mosquitoes are the best known disease vector. Eradication of mosquitoes is a crucial step in controlling vector borne diseases. It is crucial to understand the extent of the problem (population density of mosquitoes by location & species) to effectively manage vector borne diseases. Currently we do not have real time mosquito population data by location and species. Government agencies and NGOs have several programs to eradicate vector borne diseases but they are not using real time data
What is the uniqueness of our solution?
Currently manual methods are used across the world to get mosquito populations and these methods are expensive. Our smart trap is first in the world which can provide real time data of mosquito population by species and location. This product uses sensors to measure wing beat frequency of mosquitoes and use this to identify species. This product is also scalable which help to local governments to efficiently use their resources. Platform is designed to capture data across several areas like epidemiology, entomology, socioeconomic, location and weather to help in effective management of diseases.
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