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PHL researchers cop NASA Challenge honor

Elmer N. Manuel @tribunephl_lmer

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Data scientist Dominic Ligot details his team's award-winning project on using satellite data to prevent dengue outbreaks during a press con at De La Salle University. (Anagelica Yang Twitter)

A team of Filipino researchers made the country proud as it clinched the 2019 NASA International Space Apps Challenge award recently.

The group created an automated tool to help health practitioners identify potential dengue hotspots and used satellite spectral data, climate data from DoST-PAGASA and Google search trends to predict dengue outbreaks.

Composed of members from data analytics startup Cirrolytix, the group called its creation Project AEDES, or Advanced Early Dengue Prediction and Exploration Service and the tool bested 36 other global finalists for the “Best Use of Data” award.

Project AEDES is free for public use and can be accessed through a prototype website, which also shows the trends between reported dengue cases and deaths and at present, the tool can be used to predict dengue outbreaks in four areas — Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The team members said that they are looking for funding so that they could fly to the NASA Headquarters in Florida, United States for the next step in developing the project.

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