Research Projects (Third party funds)


Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System

Symbolfoto_Labor590x240.jpg© HZIThe Ebola Virus outbreak in West Africa in 2014/15 and the Zika virus epidemic in 2016 emphasized the challenges epidemic-prone diseases can pose on the health infrastructure of a country. An adequate response is influenced by the attributes timeliness, simplicity, flexibility, data quality, acceptability, sensitivity, predictive value positive, representativeness, and stability of a surveillance system. Mobile health (mHealth) tools and electronic surveillance technologies provide innovative approaches to strengthen conventional surveillance systems of infectious diseases, also in low-resource settings.

The Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS®) is a mobile eHealth system that organizes and facilitates disease control and outbreak management in addition to disease surveillance and epidemiological analysis for all administrative levels of the public health system.  It aims to improve prevention and control of communicable diseases particularly in resource-poor settings. The system is being designed by those involved in public health surveillance and disease control. SORMAS is free of charge, and adheres to highest data protection standards, good scientific practice and open access policy.

Symbolfoto_Präsentation590x240.jpg© HZISORMAS is characterized by digital notification at point of care, case-based surveillance, bi-directional information flow, contact follow-up management, digital medical record, outcome monitoring, outbreak detection algorithms, interoperability with common systems, open source, mobile offline capability, inclusion of all relevant actors and a user-centered design.
SORMAS adheres to international data standards (e.g. HL7 FHIR) and enhances technical and contextual interoperability with the following systems: Ministry of Health, National Centres for Disease Control, African Region Health Organization, Africa CDC, World Health Organization, District Health Information System 2, Integrated Disease Surveillance & Response, Epi Info ™, Lab Information Management System, eHealth Africa.

User interface of the SORMAS app on a smartphone, held in hands.© HZINigeria started to implement SORMAS in November 2017. Within 18 months, SORMAS was deployed for continuous operation by 687 health professionals in 287 districts (LGA) of 15 independent federal states, covering a population of over 75 million people. The users comprised 37 health facilities, 7 Lassa Fever treatment centres and 11 laboratories. All data generated by SORMAS are property of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and processed in a central server under their control. SORMAS has proven its power in successfully responding to three concurrent major outbreaks of Monkeypox, Meningitis and Lassa Fever in Nigeria in 2018. Since then, the number of clinicians, nurses, laboratorians, public health officers, and epidemiologists using SORMAS on mobile tablets or desktop computers has continued to grow.

Partners involved in this project:

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) [lead]
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)
Ghana Health Service (GHS)
Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNeT)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Calaméo
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
European Union (EU)
German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF)
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (Helmholtz)
Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF)
World Bank
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
WHO-Country Office Nigeria


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
Technical University Braunschweig (TU-BS)
Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI)
World Health Organization (WHO-HQ)
Africa Centers for Disease Control (Africa CDC)
West African Health Organization (WAHO)
Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)


Symeda GmbH
Technology Board Ltd
Management 4 Health
Studio 24
Hurtig Design
edeos digital education GmbH

PhD Students involved

•    Daniel Tom-Aba (PhD Programme Epidemiology)
•    Bernard Silenou (PhD Programme Epidemiology)
•    Martín Lotto (PhD Programme Epidemiology)


Yinka-Ogunleye A, Aruna O, Dalhat M, Ogoina D, McCollum A, Disu Y, et al. Outbreak of human monkeypox in Nigeria in 2017-18: a clinical and epidemiological report. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019;19(8):872-9.

Tom-Aba D, Toikkanen SE, Glöckner S, Adeoye O, Mall S, Fähnrich C, et al. User Evaluation Indicates High Quality of the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS) After Field Deployment in Nigeria in 2015 and 2018. Studies in health technology and informatics. 2018;253:233-7.

Tom-Aba D, Nguku PM, Arinze CC, Krause G. Assessing the Concepts and Designs of 58 Mobile Apps for the Management of the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola Outbreak: Systematic Review. JMIR public health and surveillance. 2018;4(4):e68.

Perscheid C, Benzler J, Hermann C, Janke M, Moyer D, Laedtke T, et al. Ebola Outbreak Containment: Real-Time Task and Resource Coordination With SORMAS. Frontiers in ICT. 2018;5.

Moyer D, Tom-Aba D, Sharma S, Krause G. Taking Digital Innovation into the Field of Infectious Diseases: The Case of SORMAS®. In: Oswald GK, M., editor. Shaping the Digital Enterprise. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing; 2017. p. 219-36.

Adeoye O, Tom-Aba D, Ameh C, Ojo O, Ilori E, Gidado S, et al. Implementing Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS) for Public Health in West Africa- Lessons Learnt and Future Direction. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health. 2017;22(2):1-17.

Fähnrich C, Denecke K, Adeoye OO, Benzler J, Claus H, Kirchner G, et al. Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management System (SORMAS) to support the control of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Euro Surveill. 2015;20(12).


  • Prof Dr Gérard Krause

    Head of Department Epidemiology



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