Avia-GIS is a Belgian company which main activity consists in the collection and analysis of epidemic-related data. In the course of September 2018, the company released VECMAP (short for vectors mapping) software, which purpose is to map main disease vectors and invasive species. The latter mainly consists of a wide range of insects that can cause different sicknesses such as Lyme disease, Zyka disease or malaria.
Mapping health risks
VECMAP software uses geographic information system (GIS) to localize and map those vectors but also to track their evolution, in terms of mobility and population. This initiative aims at offering relevant solutions to deal with some phenomenon that are partly or entirely caused by climate change: the proliferation of new pests and the growing of areas occupied by those who existed before. Avia-GIS also offers adapted solutions to prevent risk in each context as it analyzes all the collected data.
VECMAP software enables companies and international organizations to calculate the risks induced by vectors and prevent the damages they could cause.
What uses for VECMAP software?
Eventually the collect of data by Avia-GIS should allow cooperation at a continental level. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is currently collecting data from different sources. This work’s purpose is to provide a more comprehensive way of analyzing the context in which those vectors grow and also how to prevent the risks they cause. The Belgian company is also working with other European health organizations to develop proper responses to threats caused by vectors and brings new potential diseases to the old continent. The following figure shows the mapping of the presence of a specific disease vector in Europe.
As it was mentioned by the CEO of Avia-GIS Guy Hendrickx, this software could be used by farmers in order to localize and prevent the spread of pests and therefore significantly reduce the use of pesticides could use the technology of VECMAP. This goes to show the use of data and GIS with VECMAP software will certainly evolve and be used in various fields and at multiple scales. With the developing of new pests and the effect of climate change, one can assume this tool will grow in usefulness, and the fields in which it can be used will grow.
- Butler, Declan. « Europe on Alert for Flying Invaders ». Nature News 489, no 7415 (13 septembre 2012).
- « La France face à l’invasion en marche du moustique-tigre, porteur de maladies tropicales » France 24, 30 avril 2018.
- « Une entreprise anversoise développe un software qui cartographie les vecteurs de maladie », Le Vif, 7 septembre 2018. URL:https://www.levif.be/actualite/sante/une-entreprise-anversoise-developpe-un-software-qui-cartographie-les-vecteurs-de-maladie/article-normal-888185.html
- Site de l’entreprise Avia-GIS
- Site du logiciel VECMAP