• Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management System (SORMAS) to support the control of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.

      Fähnrich, C; Denecke, K; Adeoye, O O; Benzler, J; Claus, H; Kirchner, G; Mall, S; Richter, R; Schapranow, M P; Schwarz, N; et al. (2015)
      In the context of controlling the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), the World Health Organization claimed that 'critical determinant of epidemic size appears to be the speed of implementation of rigorous control measures', i.e. immediate follow-up of contact persons during 21 days after exposure, isolation and treatment of cases, decontamination, and safe burials. We developed the Surveillance and Outbreak Response Management System (SORMAS) to improve efficiency and timeliness of these measures. We used the Design Thinking methodology to systematically analyse experiences from field workers and the Ebola Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) after successful control of the EVD outbreak in Nigeria. We developed a process model with seven personas representing the procedures of EVD outbreak control. The SORMAS system architecture combines latest In-Memory Database (IMDB) technology via SAP HANA (in-memory, relational database management system), enabling interactive data analyses, and established SAP cloud tools, such as SAP Afaria (a mobile device management software). The user interface consists of specific front-ends for smartphones and tablet devices, which are independent from physical configurations. SORMAS allows real-time, bidirectional information exchange between field workers and the EOC, ensures supervision of contact follow-up, automated status reports, and GPS tracking. SORMAS may become a platform for outbreak management and improved routine surveillance of any infectious disease. Furthermore, the SORMAS process model may serve as framework for EVD outbreak modeling.