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Vector-borne diseases are particularly sensitive to changes in weather and climate. Timely warnings from surveillance systems can help to detect and control outbreaks of infectious disease, facilitate effective management of finite resources, and contribute to knowledge generation, response planning, and resource prioritisation in the long term, which can mitigate future outbreaks. Technological and digital innovations have enabled the incorporation of climatic data into surveillance systems, enhancing their capacity to predict trends in outbreak prevalence and location. Advance notice of the risk of an outbreak empowers decision makers and communities to scale up prevention and preparedness interventions and redirect resources for outbreak responses. In this Viewpoint, we outline important considerations in the advent of new technologies in disease surveillance, including the sustainability of innovation in the long term and the fundamental obligation to ensure that the communities that are affected by the disease are involved in the design of the technology and directly benefit from its application.

Original publication





The Lancet. Planetary health

Publication Date





e739 - e745


School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Humans, Communicable Diseases, Weather, Disease Outbreaks, Inventions, Vector Borne Diseases