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Urban Issues

The Mobile Phone Pandemic

Phone-VirusesCity’s exist because of people, lots and lots of people. Otherwise lets face it it would just be a town. When you have lots and lots of people heathcare and sickness are a concern. Concern over infection control and pandemics has been on our minds lately, but how do you simulate a pandemic?  Clinical trials are not exactly an option.

Well leave it to a nation where mobile phones are more common then watches to figure out another way to use them. In a few months a very contagious disease will start to spread through an elementary school in Japan. An unwitting child will act as patient zero and the infection will spread as the students attend class and walk through the halls.

In just a matter of time the sickness will spread through the student body and beyond, parents, officials, bus drivers, the shop keeper on the corner. Officials will try to stop the epidemic and save the school, but it all comes down to their mobile phone.

Its a virtual sickness funded by the Japanese government using mobile phone technology and implemented by a subsidiary of Softbank Corp. The company will pick an elementary school with about 1,000 students and everyone will be provided with a cellphone equipted with a GPS tracker so that thier movements, and the spread of the disease can be recorded and tracked.

The system will provide a simulation on how an infection spreads and the governement also hopes to test using the GPS data to backtrack on the spread of the disease and send people text messages warning them to go and see a doctor as they might have been infected. A system that it hopes could be used in the future in the event of actual epidemic.

Via CBC/AP

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