PGMS: a case study of collecting PDA-based geo-tagged malaria-related survey data.
Using mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones, tablet computers, etc., to electronically collect malaria-related field data is the way for the field questionnaires in the future. This case study seeks to design a generic survey framework PDA-based geo-tagged malaria-related data collection tool (PGMS) that can be used not only for large-scale community-level geo-tagged electronic malaria-related surveys, but also for a wide variety of electronic data collections of other infectious diseases. The framework includes two parts: the database designed for subsequent cross-sectional data analysis and the customized programs for the six study sites (two in Kenya, three in Indonesia, and one in Tanzania). In addition to the framework development, we also present our methods used when configuring and deploying the PDAs to 1) reduce data entry errors, 2) conserve battery power, 3) field install the programs onto dozens of handheld devices, 4) translate electronic questionnaires into local languages, 5) prevent data loss, and 6) transfer data from PDAs to computers for future analysis and storage. Since 2008, PGMS has successfully accomplished quite a few surveys that recorded 10,871 compounds and households, 52,126 persons, and 17,100 bed nets from the six sites. These numbers are still growing.
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