SORMAS: Mobile Ebola Surveillance

Surveillance of Ebola infections by real-time mobile data transmission in Nigeria

The ongoing Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and the possible re-emergence of new Ebola virus infections in countries such as Nigeria require to strengthen the disease surveillance and control capabilites in these countries.
The aim of the project "EBOKON 10" is to exploit information technology to support in identifying emerging infections and Ebola suspected cases as well as their contacts immediately. In this way, further spread of infections can be prevented. Together with the Nigerian "Programme for Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training" the Department of Epidemiology at the HZI (Prof. Dr. Krause) has initiated that project to address this challenge.
In order to meet the specific technical requirements of West African countries, a management tool for infection control and for real time transmission of epidemiological data will be developed. It will run on normal mobile phones that are widely spread in West African countries. The complexity of the data processing is, however, handled by a high-performance data management platform and the use of cloud technology provided by SAP, a German Software Corporation.

Our partners:

Nigeria Field Epidemiology & Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP), Abuja, Nigeria

Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin (BNIT), Hamburg

Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), Berlin

Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Abuja, Nigeria

Deutsche Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (DZIF), Braunschweig

Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Potsdam 

Process Models

In order to identify requirements for SORMAS, we defined personas and process models to depict their interactions, needs, and responsibilities. We used the Design Thinking methodology to systematically analyse experiences from field workers and the Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). In an active exchange via e-mail, phone, and personal conversations, we derived process models that map the procedures of Nigerian Ebola outbreak control. This included modelling the activities and responsibilities of each single participant and the flow of each data artifact produced. We chose Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN 2.0) for a direct discussion of the process models with our Nigerian colleagues. Due to its complexity, we encapsulated parts of the overall process, e.g. the contact tracing procedure, in subprocesses that are modelled separately.

Different process models for Ebola, H5N1, Measles, and Cholera have been created and can be downloaded:

·        Process model Ebola

·        Process model H5N1

·        Process model Measles

·        Process model Cholera

Ebola and H5N1 have partially overlapping processes: Diagram

Measles and Cholera have a joint overall process, available here. The disease-specific subprocesses can be downloaded above.