A Filipino startup that developed a dengue hotspot prediction system using satellite and climate data has been recognized globally for supporting sustainable development goals.
CirroLytix Research Services won in the 2020 Group on Earth Observations Sustainable Development Goals (GEO SDG) Awards in the Sectoral category (For-Profit). GEO SDG Awards recognizes the productivity, ingenuity, proficiency, novelty, and exemplary communications of results and experiences in the use of Earth observations to support sustainable development.
Through the application of machine learning, data engineering, remote sensing, and social listening, the Philippine-based data analytics firm hopes to help governments, researchers, non-government organizations, and social enterprises achieve positive change.
The Advanced Early Dengue Prediction and Exploration Service (Project AEDES) is one of the CirroLytix’s flagship projects developed during the 2019 National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) International Space Apps Challenge. It combines digital, climate, and remote sensing to nowcast dengue trends and detect mosquito habitats to help preempt cases of dengue.
It won NASA Space Apps for its best use of data, the solution that best makes space data accessible or leverages it to a unique application.
Project AEDES process leverages normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR), and normalized difference water index (NDWI) readings from Landsat and Sentinel-2 to estimate still water areas on the ground, which is correlated with dengue case counts from national health centers.
Dominic Vincent “Doc” Ligot, co-founder and chief technology officer of CirroLytix, describes Project AEDES as an “early detection of panics from online searches, anticipating case counts from environment readings, but most importantly pinpointing hotspots from mosquito habitat detection.”
The award-winning startup continues to update the AEDES framework to include socio-economic risk mapping to turn it into a health and environmental policy tool. Aside from dengue, the company also supports COVID-19 modeling and response initiatives with the public health sector.
Space Apps lead organizer in the Philippines Michael Lance M. Domagas appeals support for these Filipino winners. “Filipino winners of Space Apps and GEO SDG Awards have taught us how these space technologies greatly help in addressing epidemics and economic impact of COVID-19. It’s time to give them recognition and respect.”
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