From global action against malaria to local issues: state of the art and perspectives of web platforms dealing with malaria information

Abstract : Background: Since prehistory to present times and despite a rough combat against it, malaria remains a concern for human beings. While evolutions of science and technology through times allowed for some infectious diseases eradication in the 20th century, malaria resists. Objectives: This review aims at assessing how Internet and web technologies are used in fighting malaria. Precisely, how do malaria fighting actors profit from these developments, how do they deal with ensuing phenomena, such as the increase of data volume, and did these technologies bring new opportunities for fighting malaria? Methods: Eleven web platforms linked to spatio-temporal malaria information are reviewed, focusing on data, metadata, web services and categories of users. Results: Though the web platforms are highly heterogeneous the review reveals that the latest advances in web technologies are underused. Information are rarely updated dynamically, metadata catalogues are absent, web services are more and more used, but rarely standardized, and websites are mainly dedicated to scientific communities, essentially researchers. Conclusion: Improvement of systems interoperability, through standardization, is an opportunity to be seized in order to allow real time information exchange and online multisource data analysis. To facilitate multidisciplinary/multiscale studies, the web of linked data and the semantic web innovations can be used in order to formalize the different view points of actors involved in the combat against malaria. By doing so, new malaria fighting strategies could take place, to tackle the bottlenecks listed in the United Nation Millennium Development Goals reports, but also specific issues highlighted by the World Health Organization such as malaria elimination in international borders.
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Dominique Briand, Emmanuel Roux, Jean Christophe Desconnets, Carmen Gervet, Christovam Barcellos. From global action against malaria to local issues: state of the art and perspectives of web platforms dealing with malaria information. Malaria Journal, BioMed Central, 2018, 17, pp.122. 〈10.1186/s12936-018-2270-0〉. 〈hal-01799951〉

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