The potential role of mobile tools to strengthen and extend the reach of disease surveillance systems is widely recognized. Malaria eradication relies on timely and accurate data to effectively identify areas of ongoing transmission, target interventions, and measure progress toward elimination. However, a key gap curbing progress is the lack of appropriate tools for collecting, managing, and analyzing malaria data. Most data collection systems are slow and generate incomplete, inaccurate, and highly aggregated data. Elimination-ready systems must be capable of getting the right information to the right person at the right time.
While a variety of tools have been piloted and introduced, each with its own strengths and limitations, few have scaled and none meet all the malaria community’s surveillance needs. The current approach to tool development has led to a fragmented environment in part because there is not an articulated vision of where mobile tools fit into the landscape and what features are critical. The lack of coordination and consensus highlights the need for the malaria community to address these issues together and ensure better designs for sustainable solutions.