An Android Mobile-Based Environmental Health Information Source for Malaysian Context

An Android Mobile-Based Environmental Health Information Source for Malaysian Context

Lau Tiu Chung (Swinburne University of Technology – Sarawak, Malaysia), Lau Bee Theng (Swinburne University of Technology – Sarawak, Malaysia) and H. Lee Seldon (Multimedia University, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8756-1.ch029


An anticipated research activity in healthcare is the involvement of populations and social media to identify health problems, including environmental ones. In this chapter, the authors propose an Android mobile-based system for collection and targeted distribution of the latest alerts and real-time environmental factors to the Malaysian population. This mobile system is designed to facilitate and encourage research into environmental health quality issues by providing a comprehensive tracking and monitoring tool correlated to social media networks. This system is embedded with Google Maps and Geocoding services to visualize the location and environmental health reports from the aggregated social media news feeds; the output is also shared across the social media networks.
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In the past, many environmental health issues were not delivered to the public efficiently. The print and television press often did not headline environmental news. The mobile technologies revolution in the late 1990s mostly served the purpose of providing voice communication over the phone. People were passive consumers of news reports about environmental health hazards, seldom ones which could affect their own health.

In the early 2000s several studies of environmental health tracking tools were established with a main goal: to protect communities by providing federal, state, and local agencies with information they could use to plan, apply and evaluate environmental health actions (California Environmental Health Investigation Branch, 2012; Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010; European Environment Agency, 2011; Freifeld & Brownstein, 2007; Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 2011). While existing environmental health surveillance systems have been proven to serve as an effective mode for spreading health information to their respective users, the idea of “borderless” information dissemination should be also considered.

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