Dental Trauma Tracker: A Mobile Phone Application for the Epidemiologic Surveillance of Dental and Maxillofacial Trauma
In the broad field of injury and traumatology, injuries affecting the maxillo-facial region have an important role: dental trauma (DT) makes up 35% of facial injuries, and 31-39% of dental emergencies are consequences of DT. Dental trauma is injury to the soft tissue as well as the teeth. Although in the majority of cases dental trauma is not fatal, it still may cause some long-lasting psychological or physical damage to the victims. Consequently, DT is recognised as a major dental public health problem worldwide. However, lack of data reduces the timeliness and effectiveness of dental trauma research. Thus the ‘Dental Trauma Tracker’ project was established to promote the development of research in dental trauma. The aim of this project was to implement a mobile phone-based application for the epidemiologic surveillance of dental and maxillo-facial trauma. The Dental Trauma Tracker application takes advantage of mobile phone data capture capabilities (text, photo, video, and audio) for epidemiologic surveillance of dental trauma. The initial work to activate larger scale, longer-term studies in the future is described. The goal in the initial stage is to present the development of a working prototype system collecting dental trauma data to provide an overview of the nature and extent of DT, letting researchers view and summarise the collected data, and make greater use of the data for improvements at a local level (e.g., educating on the best first aid, identifying high-risk locations and activities).
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