40 million deaths a year go unrecorded, study shows; mobile phone data collection could crack the problem


In a sobering finding for global health authorities and governments around the world, a group of leading epidemiologists say two in three deaths globally – or 40 million people – go unreported. And one in three births – another 40 million people – go unregistered. In remote areas where there are no doctors, civil registration and vital statistics improvements could include family members of deceased responding to a limited number of questions about symptoms experienced by the deceased which an algorithm using big data samples would then analyze to record a most-likely cause of death, the researchers say, adding that other technology advances could also be exploited such as using mobile phones to transmit information about recent cases of births and deaths.

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