Electronic data capture for large scale typhoid surveillance, household contact tracing, and health utilisation survey: Strategic Typhoid Alliance across Africa and Asia
Thindwa D., Farooq YG., Shakya M., Saha N., Tonks S., Anokwa Y., Gordon MA., Hartung C., Meiring JE., Pollard AJ., Heyderman RS.
Electronic data capture systems (EDCs) have the potential to achieve efficiency and quality in collection of multisite data. We quantify the volume, time, accuracy and costs of an EDC using large-scale census data from the STRATAA consortium, a comprehensive programme assessing population dynamics and epidemiology of typhoid fever in Malawi, Nepal and Bangladesh to inform vaccine and public health interventions. A census form was developed through a structured iterative process and implemented using Open Data Kit Collect running on Android-based tablets. Data were uploaded to Open Data Kit Aggregate, then auto-synced to MySQL-defined database nightly. Data were backed-up daily from three sites centrally, and auto-reported weekly. Pre-census materials’ costs were estimated. Demographics of 308,348 individuals from 80,851 households were recorded within an average of 14.7 weeks range (13-16) using 65 fieldworkers. Overall, 21.7 errors (95% confidence interval: 21.4, 22.0) per 10,000 data points were found: 13.0 (95% confidence interval: 12.6, 13.5) and 24.5 (95% confidence interval: 24.1, 24.9) errors on numeric and text fields respectively. These values meet standard quality threshold of 50 errors per 10,000 data points. The EDC’s total variable cost was estimated at US$13,791.82 per site. In conclusion, the EDC is robust, allowing for timely and high-volume accurate data collection, and could be adopted in similar epidemiological settings.