A critical review of digital technology innovations for early warning of water-related disease outbreaks associated with climatic hazards

Cristiane Girotto, Farzad Piadeh, Vahid Bakhtiari, Kourosh Behzadian, Albert S. Chen, Luiza C. Campos, Massoud Zolgharni

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Water-related climatic disasters pose a significant threat to human health due to the potential of disease outbreaks, which are exacerbated by climate change. Therefore, it is crucial to predict their occurrence with sufficient lead time to allow for contingency plans to reduce risks to the population. Opportunities to address this challenge can be found in the rapid evolution of digital technologies. This study conducted a critical analysis of recent publications investigating advanced technologies and digital innovations for forecasting, alerting, and responding to water-related extreme events, particularly flooding, which is often linked to disaster-related disease outbreaks. The results indicate that certain digital innovations, such as portable and local sensors integrated with web-based platforms are new era for predicting events, developing control strategies and establishing early warning systems. Other technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and social media, can be more effective for monitoring flood spread, disseminating before/during the event information, and issuing warnings or directing emergency responses. The study also identified that the collection and translation of reliable data into information can be a major challenge for effective early warning systems and the adoption of digital innovations in disaster management. Augmented reality, and digital twin technologies should be further explored as valuable tools for better providing of communicating complex information on disaster development and response strategies to a wider range of audiences, particularly non-experts. This can help to increase community engagement in designing and operating effective early warning systems that can reduce the health impact of climatic disasters.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104151
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date28 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Digital application
  • Digitalisation
  • Disease outbreaks
  • Early warning systems
  • Extreme weather


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