Tobacco surveillance through electronic data collection on the Android operating system - evidence from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey
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CDC, Office on Smoking and Health, United States of America
CDC Foundation, United States of America
RTI International, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A503
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The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), a nationally representative household survey launched in 2007, could benefit from a cost-effective and easy to use platform that included support for multiple-languages, the ability to field surveys in countries with limited resources, and the integration of diverse data management methodologies. To fill these gaps, a new Android-supported General Survey System (GSS), based on the previous Windows Mobile GSS platform, was developed for GATS.

The GSS for Android system was modeled after the previously developed Windows Mobile-based system. It is a suite of software tools for survey design, implementation, and reporting. It includes various data management models that were developed to work in diverse conditions: SIM based tablet or Wi-Fi transmission with cloud integration, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), migration of data over SD cards or USB cables, and use of Wi-Fi capable external drives.

Since 2014, the GSS for Android system has been implemented in 15 countries that have fielded GATS, using Android hardware. Over 1900 tablets have been programmed in 40 languages, and more than 220,000 households have been surveyed with over 175,000 individuals interviewed. Due to a robust data management plan, effective quality control processes, and rigorous training methodology, no data loss has occurred. Currently, more than 660 million tobacco related data points have been captured, which will inform the publishing of 15 fact sheets and country reports.

GSS for Android has been a successful new tool for tobacco surveillance. The system architecture and variety of hardware platforms have shown adaptability across countries, irrespective of resource availability, internet and telecom capabilities, hardware requirements, and differing physical environments.

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