More information on previous EpiHackTM events around the world

EpiHackTM Uganda, April 2018, Design and Develop Digital Solutions To Strengthen Uganda's Health Systems Response To Disease Outbreaks

EpiHackTM Uganda was held on April 16 -20, 2018 in Kampala with the mission on Design and Develop Digital Solutions To Strengthen Uganda's Health Systems Response To Disease Outbreaks. The event was funded by Ending Pandemics and organized by MOH Uganda and InSTEDD.

There were three prototypes from the event:

  1. Contract Tracing
  2. Outbreak Management
  3. Logistic Tracking for Laboratory Specimen.

EpiHackTM Sri Lanka, November 2017, Dengue surveillance system

EpiHackTM Sri Lanka’s main objective is to develop a participatory reporting tool with prevention tips to help the public stay informed and detect dengue fever outbreaks faster! EpiHackTM Sri Lanka is organised by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, in collaboration with Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL), University of Colombo Computer Society (UCSC), and Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). It is funded by Skoll Global Threats Fund. EpiHackTM Sri Lanka invites government officials, health experts and developers to spend five days collectively brainstorming, exploring, and prototyping digital tools to prevent the spread of dengue.

EpiHackTM Sri Lanka provides an intensive environment to explore, develop, integrate and improve technological solutions in order to detect and minimise the impact of infectious diseases, which, if left unchecked, could lead to pandemics and widespread outbreaks. This hackathon will address the threat of dengue fever in Colombo, a serious public health concern, and focus on developing a tool to help the public stay informed, promote dengue prevention actions as well as update public health bodies of potential dengue breeding sites via a dengue surveillance system.

Credit note: Anita Sheldenkar for providing EpiHackTM Sri Lanka information.

EpiHackTM Vietnam, October 2017, Population Participation in Disease Surveillance

EpiHackTM Vietnam was held on October 9th - 13th, 2017 in Hanoi with focused on building "Population Participation in Disease Surveillance" in Vietnam. The event was organized by General Department of Preventive Medicine (GDPM) of MOH Vietnam and InSTEDD.

A total of 55 participants made up of local and regional Health Experts and Vietnam based Technologists were split into four different groups to brainstorm and develop ideas under pre-selected topics under the main theme.

Four Prototyping Areas Emerged in the EpiHackTM :

  1. Making Data Actionable: Data Visualization and an Analysis System 
  2. Encouraging Early Detection: Public Hotline for Reporting Outbreaks
  3. Population Engagement: Developing a Smartphone Application for Reporting
  4. Curating and Cross-checking Information: Using Social Media to Screen for Outbreaks 

For more information please follow this link: EpiHackTM Vietnam 2017 Presentation

Credit note: Simon Green for providing EpiHackTM Vietnam information.

Mini EpiHackTM Morogoro, October 2016, Tanzania

Mini EpiHackTM Nested within Mid-Project Review Meeting

Objective of the Mini EpiHackTM

To identify and provide technical solutions for challenges related to application of AfyaData tools for disease surveillance and response in human and animal populations in East and Southern Africa

Outputs expected during Mini EpiHackTM

  • Prototypes developed to monitor response/outcome to submitted health events data (CHRs, LFOs, Health Officers, DVOs and DMOs)
  • Prototypes  developed to perform automated data analysis
  • Protocols/strategies established and used on interoperability of databases of cross-border disease surveillance (data import, analysis and feedback) , AfyaData work feed into national eIDSR

Credit note: Dr.Esron Karimuribo for providing Mini EpiHackTM Morogoro information

EpiHackTM Denver, 2016, Data Validation Toolkit


EpiHackTM Denver convened epidemiologists from state and local health departments, public health researchers, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials to explore and analyze Flu Near You data, as well as identify how it could be most impactful for public health surveillance in the United States.


Participants reviewed the Flu Near You public health dashboard and made design and functionality updates, drafted a “data validation toolkit,” and developed other resources to aid public health professionals looking to implement these systems. Resources will be available soon.

Organized and support from:

For more information please follow this link:

Credit note: Adam Crawley for providing EpiHackTM Denver information

EpiHackTM Myanmar, April 2016, Digital Innovation to find and report outbreaks faster

EpiHackTM Myanmar 2016 was organised by Skoll Global Threats Fund and InSTEDD, with support from the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports and the Malaria Consortium.

The first day of the EpiHackTM were introductory presentations about what was expected during the week, and some insights about the health work done in Myanmar and the Greater Mekong Subregion. In the afternoon, group discussion on work topics:

  • Add more disease in surveillance system+Health Staff directory
  • Citizen reporting Hotline, Private sector
  • Tools to train health workers
  • Paper based up chain

Day 2 was about problem validation and went on different field trips to gather more info from the actual health workers. The three sites were Yangon Reginal Office, Hliang-thar-ya Township, and Htantabin Hospital Township.

Day 3 each group presenting their findings of the field trips to the others and refining their work scopes.

Day 4 all hands-on hacking day for software developers to get the prototypes built. While the health experts maintained different group discussions.

Day 5 started with the last rehearsal - a group of participants played an act showing how the prototype would work on a hypothetical scenario. Then the final presentations and closing ceremony.

For more information please follow these links:

Credit note: Matias Garcia Isaia for providing EpiHackTM Myanmar information

EpiHackTM ALBANIA , April 2016, Create One Health Dashboard

The seventh EpiHackTM , Southeast European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Disease (SECID) in cooperation with Skoll Global Threats Fund (SGTF ) organized EpiHackTM ALBANIA & Time to Detect and Time to Respond in Saranda, Albania from 18 – 22 April 2016.

EpiHackTM Analytics has convened about 40 epidemiologists, information technology specialists and developers from Albania and some countries of South East Europe for a four day workshop focused on developing methods for, and tools to aid implementation of a common data source platform to accommodate all data from animals, human, vector and environment and establish one health surveillance mainly for zoonotic and vector borne diseases. Another day was dedicated to discuss time to detect and time to respond of outbreaks related to such diseases.

Key representatives from organizations such as SECID, Institute of Public Health, Institute of Veterinary, Ministry of Health, Universities, and Information Technology Students or Companies, Skoll Global Threats Fund, InSTEDD, Opendream, Digital Divide Data DDD joined the event to provide expertise, facilitation, and to strengthen connections with different agencies.

For more information please follow this link:

Credit note: Jonilda Sulo for providing EpiHackTM Albania information

EpiHackTM Minneapolis, September 2015, Data Analytics

Our sixth EpiHackTM event took place in Minneapolis, USA, hosted by the University of Minnesota's Food Protection and Defense Institute in partnership with HealthMap of Boston Children's Hospital and the Skoll Global Threats Fund on September 28-29th, 2015. We invited researchers, epidemiologists, and technologists from around the United States to this two-day event that focused on analyzing and interpreting data from the Flu Near You participatory surveillance system and other novel data sources for the purpose of improving influenza surveillance in the United States. 


The goals of EpiHackTM Minneapolis were:

  1. To enable a sample of U.S. health departments to acquire, manage, analyze and interpret data from the Flu Near You participatory surveillance system in order to augment existing surveillance methods.
  2. To pilot a collaborative approach for integrating new tools and novel data streams into applied public health work that can be tested, evaluated, and replicated for other public health resources.

The results from this event included:

  1. Updated data dictionaries for Flu Near You and a "How To Guide" for health departments seeking to leverage FNY data.
  2. SAS and R code for importing and analyzing Flu Near You data in a health department setting.
  3. Visualization and dashboard prototypes to inform future designs and information-sharing platforms.
  4. Presentations from AthenaHealth and Virginia Bioinformatics Institute on addition influenza surveillance tools and resources. 
  5. Growing the community of practice around the use of participatory surveillance systems for applied public health. 

Organized and support from:

For more information please follow this link:

Credit note: Adam Crawley for providing EpiHackTM Minneapolis information

EpiHackTM Rio, July 2015, Brazil, Mass Gathering

The fifth EpiHackTM was held in July 2015. The Skoll Global Threats Fund (SFTF) along with its partners,  Epitrack, InSTEDD, and Opendream, hosted an EpiHackTM in Rio to explore the potential for participatory disease surveillance at mass gatherings. By letting people report on their own symptoms, the EpiHackTM explored how we can get a better handle on disease outbreaks at big events like the World Cup, music festivals, the Olympics and more.

In 2014, SGTF had supported Epitrack as a pilot project for mass gathering surveillance at the World Cup in Brazil. Then, at EpiHackTM Rio, hackers and public health officials from 11 countries around the world worked to develop concepts and, potentially, a prototype application for participatory surveillance for mass gatherings generally. 

For more information please follow these links:

Credit note: Bruce Lowry for providing EpiHackTM Rio information

EpiHackTM Tanzania, December 2014, One Health

An EpiHackTM event was organized and held at the Mount Meru Hotel located in Arusha, Tanzania on December 8th-12th 2014. The event was co-hosted by the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS), Eastern African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDSNet), Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance Network (CORDS) and Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases, and Disasters (InSTEDD). It was funded by the US-based Skoll Global Threats Fund. The objectives for this event were:

  • To bring together health experts (from animal and human health sectors) and ICT programmers to collaborate to provide solutions to challenges facing disease surveillance and response in Southern and Eastern Africa.
  • To build and strengthen cross-border working relationships between six countries (Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) in one health disease surveillance.
  • To collaboratively prototype a fit for purpose digital solution to detect infectious disease outbreaks through strengthened inter sectoral and cross-border disease surveillance.

During the five days of the EpiHackTM event, four prototypes relevant to improving disease surveillance and response were developed. Namely:

  • Official data collection from facility-based disease surveillance reporting system (targeting submitting real-time disease reporting data).
  • Contact tracing (digital solution to support official tracking of potential disease outbreaks including identification of affected households or livestock herds and their locations to aid outbreak investigation).
  • Community-based participatory disease surveillance through feedback from experts on likely diagnoses to trigger focused follow-up investigations.
  • Feedback: two-way communication to facilitate prompt feed-back to health facilities/communities and enhance interaction between the community and sub-national (district) health systems.

For more information please follow these links:

Credit note:  Dr.Esron Karimuribo for providing EpiHackTM Tanzania information

EpiHackTM Laos, June 2014, Dengue Fever

Dengue fever, also known as “Breakbone Fever,” is an infectious disease that can be deadly. In 2013, Lao PDR experienced an unprecedented dengue fever epidemic, infecting nearly 50,000 people in every province in the country.

Alarmingly, approximately 70 percent of the 92 deaths reported in 2013 were children under the age of 15. By detecting dengue fever outbreaks, earlier health experts and communities can take precautionary measures and decrease or eliminate the public health dangers of dengue fever.

To address this issue, the third EpiHackTM took place in Vientiane, Laos in June 2014 and was co-hosted by the Laos Ministry of Health, Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance (MBDS) Network, Skoll Global Threats Fund, InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia, and Opendream in an effort to develop a participatory reporting tool to detect dengue fever outbreaks.

For more information please follow these links:

Credit note: Nathalie Sajda for providing EpiHackTM Laos information

EpiHackTM Chiang Mai, March 2014, Thailand, One Health

The second EpiHackTM took place in Chiang Mai, second largest city in Thailand. Chiang Mai is a city with a small community atmosphere and the aim of this event was to co-create prototypes for a Participatory One Health approach in the province. 

The event was co-organised by the Skoll Global Threats Fund, Faculty of Computer Science, Faculty of Nursing, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Chiang Mai University, as well as Opendream. Participants represented a wide variety of backgrounds from software developers in Cambodia and Argentina to lecturers at the university, to veterinary and medical students, to Thai government representatives. 

EpiHackTM Chiang Mai was kicked off with a Digital Disease Detection (DDD) symposium, held at Chiang Mai University, which gave all the participants the valuable opportunity to learn about digital and participatory health care cases across Thailand. DDD followed with a site visit to the Saraphi district, where the Saraphi Health Project, which shares basic health information through a digital platform, was presented. On the second day, two groups were formed - one focusing on animal health and one on human health - and the hacking was on! 

By the fourth and final day, the two teams had developed seven digital prototypes addressing a broad range of issues in the One Health sphere, including a wildlife reporting system, individual health surveillance, professional health surveillance and an overall platform collecting submitted health data.

For more information please follow this link:

Credit note: Nathalie Sajda for providing EpiHackTM Chiang Mai information

EpiHackTM Phnom Penh, August 2013, Cambodia, Empowering 5 existing projects

The first EpiHackTM was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in partnership with Change Fusion, InSTEDD, Opendream, and the Royal University of Phnom Penh on August 6-8th, 2013.  This event emphasized on 5 existing projects. 

CoPanFlu  The Cohort for Pandemic Influenza in Laos (CoPanFlu Laos) is a laboratory-based system first implemented in Vientiane, Laos, in 2009 to investigate 2009 A(H1N1) influenza seroconversion rates and their determinants within an unvaccinated population. ( Bruce Lowry, 2013 ) The project team worked on potential options for automating both data collection and specimen collection processes. ( Jennifer Olsen, 2013 )

DoctorMe  The first mobile application for health in Thailand on the IOS and Android systems developed by Opendream. Initially, DoctorMe was created in 2011 to promote good health care and first aid for all people in Thailand. ( Bruce Lowry, 2013 ) The team was working on develop a participatory module where users could self-report symptoms they were experiencing. ( Jennifer Olsen, 2013 )

ILI Surveillance – BOE The Bureau of Epidemiology in Thailand set up web-based reporting for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) with the hospitals submitting the number of ILIs weekly. A system analyst then sends back the results of national statistics coming into the ILI system to the hospital and other responsible people in the area via the Internet, email, and SMS for up-to-date information on the flu situation week by week. ( Bruce Lowry, 2013 ) A prototype of this group showed hospitalized ILI cases by color code based on a number of cases. ( Jennifer Olsen, 2013 )

Maetao Clinic The Maetao Clinic is a health provider and training center based in Mae Sot, near the Myanmar-Thailand border. Maetao was established to contribute to and promote accessible, quality health care among displaced Burmese and other ethnic peoples in this border location. ( Bruce Lowry, 2013 ) The team working to support the Mae Tao Clinic transitioned electronic medical record (EMR) data to a cloud-based infrastructure and created a data visualization dashboard to allow for map-based visualization of diagnoses. ( Jennifer Olsen, 2013 )

Verboice  InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia introduced and extended Verboice, an open-source tool to support health, safety and sustainable development programs in Cambodia. Users can create and run applications that interact via voice. People can listen and record messages in their language and dialect, or answer questions with a phone keypad. ( Bruce Lowry, 2013 ) At EpiHackTM Phnom Penh, in just eight hours, four project managers each completed their voice-based participatory surveillance systems to monitor the following: One Health in Kenya & Tanzania; early warning generation in South Sudan; animal health in Laos; unexploded ordinance in Laos; child trafficking in Cambodia. ( Jennifer Olsen, 2013 ) 

For more information please follow this link:

Credit note: Bruce Lowry and Dr. Jennifer Olsen for providing EpiHackTM Phnom Penh information

Last modified: Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 1:22 PM