APL Releases Surveillance Software

John’s Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) have released the “Suite for Automated Global Electronic bioSurveillance (SAGES), a collection of flexible, open source software products developed for electronic disease surveillance in all settings.

Public health officials around the world, especially those with limited capabilities or resources to meet the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations requirements for outbreak surveillance and reporting, can use the SAGES system. Through this initial open source code release, users can download and customize software to fit their needs, as well as contribute to the continued development of SAGES.

The system was developed by APL in collaboration with the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS), a division of AFHSC. The free software suite is designed to collect, analyze, visualize, and share information within a national disease surveillance system. Individual SAGES analysis and visualization tools are modeled after the U.S civilian and military surveillance system known at ESSENCE developed more than a decade ago by APL and DOD.

SAGES-based systems can use any combination of radios, simple cell phones, android-based smartphones, tablets, and computers to collect data. In Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa, public health collaborators have used SAGES tools to develop sustainable, customized electronic disease surveillance systems that provides vital end-user feedback to APL during development.

If the computer code is modified, individuals may share their innovations with other users. APL and GEIS will continue to monitor the SAGES website and update the downloadable version as new components are tested and validated.

For more information, go to www.jhuapl.edu/sages.

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