Many developing countries don’t have enough data to accurately track such scourges as child malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. To help address this problem, Washington, D.C.- based DataDyne has introduced wireless EpiSurveyor, a free, open-source software package that allows health care workers to create their own data collection forms, download them onto cell phones, and text data back to a central database.

An earlier version of the software that runs on handheld PDAs is already used by...

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