Technological Institute of the Philippines

Rabies Free 2020: A Rabies Prevention Mobile Application Animal Bite Treatment Center Recommender using A* Search Algorithm

Over 1.3 million animal bite cases were recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) in 2016, with only about 100,000 Filipinos seeking and getting medical treatment. Of these cases, 200 to 300 Filipinos eventually died of rabies. These figures place the Philippines in the top 10 countries with the highest rabies incidence in the world. Dogs remain the main cause of these animal bite and rabies cases, as over 4 million of the country’s dog population are still unvaccinated against the disease. Doctors say that without increased awareness on rabies among dog owners and communities, rabies will continue to be a huge problem.

In photo: Representatives of T.I.P. and the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry during the Memorandum of Agreement Signing.

The bite and rabies statistics in the country are the driving force behind Rabies-Free Philippines 2020. Spearheaded by the DOH and the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), this initiative seeks to eradicate rabies in the Philippines by 2020. DA-BAI partnered with the Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.) to create a mobile application for rabies information dissemination. Three T.I.P. Information Technology students developed the app for DA-BAI, mentored by two faculty members from the T.I.P. College of Information Technology Education.

Specifically, the Rabies Free 2020 app provides users reading materials, photos, and videos of what rabies is, how it is transmitted, and its symptoms in infected dogs—all with just a couple of swipes and taps. The app also informs dog owners of their responsibilities as mandated by the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, penalties and fines of irresponsible pet ownership, and accurate rabies prevention methods. Additionally, it bears the location of Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories where users can have their pets tested for diseases. In case of emergencies, Rabies Free 2020 contains the proper first aid measures for bites and recommends the nearest Animal Bite Treatment Center based on the user’s location, ensuring that bite victims can quickly get themselves the medical attention they need. Finally, users can contact DA-BAI directly from the app for any questions and concerns.

Rabies Free 2020 was tested with the ISO/IEC 9126 software engineering standard, wherein its functionality, reliability, usability, and efficiency were evaluated by relevant stakeholders. The app was given positive feedback by patients and doctors from San Lazaro Hospital in the City of Manila, veterinarians from DA-BAI, and IT professionals from T.I.P. Quezon City, proof that it fulfills its function as an effective rabies information awareness app. It is currently available for Android users through the Google Play Store, and is published by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

This project for DA-BAI was coordinated by T.I.P. TechnoCoRe, an institutional program led by the school’s management. As a pioneering Student Technopreneurship and Industry-Academe Collaborative Applied Research educational model, T.I.P. TechnoCoRe provides a platform wherein students can turn concepts and ideas provided by industry partners into reality. It is an integral, value-adding component of the institution’s goal of continuously aligning itself with the ever-changing needs of the industry and the country.