A Novel Approach to Crowdsource: the Detection and Management of Large-scale Cholera Outbreaks



Eric Nelson, MD PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine

Date and Time

January 16, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Wallenberg Theater

FSI Contact

Kathleen Barcos

Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death for children under five years of age, globally.  Barriers to improving outcomes include an inability to identify cases early, provide support, and understand transmission collectively at the household level.   In this talk, we will propose a project to use crowdsourcing to identify pre-emergency patients with diarrheal disease at the level of the household, improve outcomes by providing basic 24 hour access to oral rehydration solution via a social business model at the level of pharmacies, and establish a novel method for patient recruitment to increase statistical power while decreasing the cost of clinical research.  Our primary and initial use case will be twice annual cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh.  Partners include Stanford University, Medic Mobile, ideSHi, and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.

Dr. Eric Nelson studied evolution at Cornell University (BA)  and conducted marine microbial ecology research in Papua New Guinea.  He then received a Masters Degree for studies on the symbiosis between light-producing bacteria and marine animals at the University of Hawaii.  Then he switched to microbial pathogenesis during my MD PhD training at Tufts University.  During this time, he received a Fogarty NIH fellowship to research cholera transmission at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.  DR. Nelson co-authored an ebook called the Cholera Outbreak Training and Shigellosis (COTS) Program that has taken him to outbreaks in Zimbabwe and Haiti.  He also finished a Stanford pediatrics residency in 2013 and was awarded a Pediatric Global Health Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Stanford Society of Physician Scholars.  His core effort now is to explore ways to leverage mobile technology to overcome poverty-based barriers to improve health outcomes from diarrheal diseases.

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