News

Sep 2016

National Congress of the French Society for the fight against AIDS

The CUPIDON team will be present at the 17th national congress of the French Society for the fight against AIDS on the 6th and 7th of October 2016 at the Montpellier Corum Congress hall. We look forward to seeing you at stand n°1 where our team can answer all your questions about our software solution for CeGIDD and where you can see a demonstration of the CUPIDON software.

International e-Health Research Congress

Epiconcept is sponsoring and participating in the international congress e-Health Research on the 11th and 12th of October 2016 at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. Etienne Sévin, an EpiConcept project director, will speak during session 1 about the experience of setting up and deploying a mobile solution to reinforce epidemiological surveillance in southern Madagascar. Please come and visit our stand during the event to allow us to show you are various projects.

Francophone Radiology Days

EpiConcept and the Swiss company CDI will jointly participate in the Francophone Radiolgy Days on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of October 2016 at the Paris Congress center to present their end-to-end digitisation and data flow solution, e-SIS, for cancer screening centers. We'll be happy to welcome you at our stand n°228A on the second level of the congress center.

Jun 2016

Voozanoo was used by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur CIRE (Inter-regional Epidemiological cell of the French national disease surveillance agency) for an investigation into a gastroenteritis outbreak during an obstacle course in the south of France. Details about the outbreak can be found here.

 

 

May 2016

The new Vozanoo mobile application is currently being deployed in the field. The new app is currently available only for Android, but will next be available for iOS users. The application is a general use app that looks for users registered on a given Voozanoo application and gives them access to to certain forms for filling in on their phone. It sends data records via a wifi or téléphone Internet connection, or, if there is only basic voice/SMS coverage, via multiple encrypted SMS messages to a telephone gateway (an EpiConcept application for a phone to act as an SMS to Internet bridge) which then saves the data to the database.

May 2016
In the last ten years pertussis has re-emerged in many regions including the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), despite high and stable vaccine coverage with the primary series of acellular pertussis vaccine. Pertussis can lead to severe disease in infants. PERTINENT aims at setting up a European hospital network to address key questions on the burden of pertussis in infants less than one year of age, as well as the vaccine effectiveness and impact of different pertussis vaccination strategies in the EU/EEA. The project “Setting up a sentinel system to assess the burden of whooping cough in EU/EEA” is funded by ECDC, coordinated by EpiConcept and involves seven study sites and four expert partners from 10 EU/EEA member states.
The project started in September 2015 and is planned to last four years. 

The network consists of 11 partner institutions:

On the 29th of April, Sabrina Bacci of the ECDC posted an article on the WHO portal "Immunize Europe Forum" mentioning Pertinent and the importance of vaccine monitoring.
 
"Monitoring vaccination programmes: a complex science that brings invaluable knowledge"

I’m Sabrina Bacci, an expert in vaccine preventable disease surveillance at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent ECDC positions or opinions.

We are all familiar with going to the doctor or to a vaccination clinic and being immunised against a disease. This is the final step of a long process which involves vaccine development (a process that lasts in the range of 10 years before a vaccine is placed on the market and includes many studies), disease monitoring (also called routine surveillance), monitoring of the vaccination programme itself, and monitoring vaccine safety. This blog briefly explains the monitoring of vaccination programmes.
Monitoring vaccination programmes is done through specific studies which might involve different aspects: collecting information on vaccine effectiveness (how the vaccine is performing in individuals) and estimating the impact of a vaccination programme in society.
Vaccine effectiveness studies measure how well a vaccine works at the individual level when introduced into society. In addition, this type of study may bring evidence that less/more doses are needed to confer protection in the long term and that a vaccine protects individuals from additional diseases than those it was initially created for.
The impact of a vaccination programme can be studied by comparing different populations with different programmes. For the same vaccine it is possible that different countries implement different strategies, for example targeting different age groups (adults over age 55 or adults over age 65), or different risk groups.
Studies of vaccine effectiveness and impact are complex and need to be designed with appropriate methodologies and high quality data. One example of a study aimed at monitoring both the effectiveness and impact of vaccination is Pertinent (Pertussis in Infants European Network), a study funded by ECDC in which 9 different countries and approximately 50 hospitals participate. This type of study, by having specific hospitals and dedicated people committed, will contribute to fine tune vaccination programmes with in depth information that is not often available by routine surveillance. When hospitals and local healthcare workers are committed to a specific study, we have good confidence that high quality information will be collected in addition to the “routine” daily information reported by all physicians in the country. However both aspects are important and complementary.
Studies on monitoring vaccination programmes are an essential aspect of the long journey of vaccines and they complement information derived from other sources. They have contributed and continue to contribute to ensuring the effective and appropriate use of vaccines.  
May 2016

 

Guillaume Jeannerod, Epiconcept's CEO, gave a presentation during the 2nd Senology Salon of Antilles-Guyane which took place on the 12 March 2016. He spoke about the benefits of dematerializing mamographies with the examples of two pilot projects. Epiconcept has been involved in a European consortium since 2013 called e-SIS whose goal is to develop a complete digital screening software system for the following types of cancers: breast, colorectal and cervical.


 

The e-SIS consortium is composed of four entities: EpiConcept; The CDI company (responsible for setting up the Swiss federation’s cancer screening information system) whose IT system has managed a 100% digital workflow for the past five years; the Fribourg engineering school (for the R&D); SESAM, a Turkish company specialised in IT systems integration.

This project is made possible through investments by each of the parties involved and through a financing programme for innovation by EUROSTARS from the European Commission. The piece of the information system developed by EpiConcept is based on Voozanoo.

Apr 2016


Jim McMenamin, Chair of the I-MOVE+ Scientific-Steering Committe, published a Thought Leader in the EU Parliament Magazine stressing the importance of independent evaluation when demonstrating the effectiveness of vaccines as part of the European Immunization Week 2016. I-MOVE+ (Integrated Monitoring of Vaccines in Europe) is a consortium of 26 partners (regional and national public health Institutes, SME, Universities frrom of 15 European Union / European Economic Area Member States. Its goal is to develop a sustainable platform of primary care, hospital and laboratory networks that use validated standardised  methods  to evaluate existing and new vaccines programmes independently from commercial interests.

 
"Independent evaluation is key to ensuring public confidence in vaccines"

Public confidence in vaccines is fragile. It is often negatively impacted by ant-vaccine groups, media questioning and by perceived conflicts of interest between researchers and producers. The success of immunisation programmes against childhood and adult vaccine preventable disease has also led to a drop in concern resulting in gaps in vaccination coverage. It is important to ensure that people have confidence in vaccines by demonstrating that their effectiveness and safety evaluations are carried out independently from funding and commercial pressures. This independence is particularly important when communicating on vaccine recommendations. There are two different funding and governance models for measuring vaccine performance at EU level. One model excludes industry from funding and governance through processes such as funding through the European Commission's Research DG (the I-MOVE+ project funded through Horizon 2020 for example), or by EU agencies such as the European Centre for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC) funding for I-MOVE, SpIDnet and PERTINENT projects. 
The other includes industry in the funding and governance in the context of public-private partnerships such as the Innovative Medicines Initiative-funded ADVANCE project. 
In the industry-independent model all four projects are funded with EU member state and Commission financial support and include 18 EU/EEA member states and 34 partners including national or regional public health and universities, with their networks of general practitioners, laboratories and hospitals. They measure vaccine-effectiveness against influenza, pneumococcal and pertussis infections as well as the impact of vaccination strategies. These projects funded with EU public money have ensured the provision of vaccine effectiveness estimates for influenza in each season as well as guiding policymaking at national, European and WHO level (WHO committee on influenza vaccine strain selection) in a timely manner. 

They help in identifying new and emerging pneumococcal strains and resistance to antibiotics. They also improve our understanding of the rate and severity of infant whooping cough. During annual workshops European, Pan-American and Australian experts review each project's methodological and operational aspects. These results are then discussed with national, EU and WHO public health authorities. The performance of vaccines, need to be carefully evaluated using appropriate and independent studies. This is currently accomplished through funding from the Commission and its agencies. It needs to be extended to all vaccine preventable diseases through EU mechanisms and scientific networks that ensure rigorous science and complete scientific independence from commercial pressures. The current Commission funding stream and governance model, which are independent of the pharmaceutical industry, have allowed the development of large EU networks that could not otherwise have been possible through the use of joint public-private ventures.  Furthermore, most member states do not permit public-private partnerships for national disease surveillance, evaluation of vaccine performance or for communicating on vaccine recommendations. Therefore, we believe that studies evaluating vaccine performance should be conducted independently from funding sources guaranteeing scientifically rigorous independent evaluation without jeopardising public confidence.

(First published in the EU Parliament Magazine)
 
I-MOVE+ has received a grant (May 2015- Oct 2018) from the European Commission (H2020) to identify, pilot test, use, and disseminate the best study designs to measure, in near real time the effectiveness and impact of vaccines used in the elderly population to prevent influenza and pneumococcal infections. 

Apr 2016

Alain Moren and Marta Valenciano of EpiConcept facilitated a workshop on scientific writing from 4 to 8 April as part of the Field Epidemiology Training Programme of the Indian Ocean Commission (FETP-COI).

The workshop was given to nine interns of the cohorte 3 of FETP-COI. The facilitator's team consisted of EpiConcept's two epidemiologists, two epidemiologists from the Health Surveillance Unit of the COI and the coordinator of the FETP-COI (Field Epidemiology Training Programme of the Indian Ocean Commission).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 2016

Using the "e-SIS" digital X-ray reading, storage and transmission system, the Drôme-Ardeche cancer prevention organisation is now able to inform patients of their mammography results within 72 hours as opposed to 15 or more days before the system was used. Because the Drome has a fiber optic Internet connection, the interest of three radiology centers, and the financial support of the department (100K€), it was the ideal area for deployment of the system. The objective for Etienne Paré, the center's director, is to get the e-SIS system into all of the department's radiology centers and in the future extend it to other types of screening programmes.

The e-SIS consortium is composed of four entities: EpiConcept; The CDI company (responsible for setting up the Swiss federation’s cancer screening information system) whose IT system has managed a 100% digital workflow for the past five years; the Fribourg engineering school (for the R&D); SESAM, a Turkish company specialised in IT systems integration.

This project is made possible through investments by each of the parties involved and through a financing programme for innovation by EUROSTARS from the European Commission. The piece of the information system developed by EpiConcept is based on Voozanoo.

Mar 2016

The public hospital network of Paris will soon be using a Voozanoo based application for its infectiology hotline response teams. Available 24/7, the infectiology response phone line will use the application to log the incoming information from emergency units, intensive care units, and “SOS Doctors” as well as the prescribed action and location of nearest treatment centre if needed. This web application is based on the Voozanoo application framework certified by the ministry of health for “Personal health data hosting”. The information system was put into production in mi March.

Mar 2016

Amman Jordan was the host site for the 4th NOMAD (Humanitarian Operations Mobile Acquisition of Data) conference on January 27 and 28 which brought together NGOs and private sector providers of mobile data collection tools. EpiConcept presented the specifications for its upcoming native Android and iOS tablet and smart-phone applications which work together with Voozanoo based applications and include not only data collection, but feedback and task management to the aid worker. The choice of Jordan as the conference site was made to facilitate the attendance of front-line aid workers who operate in this region. Included were discussion sessions on best practices in deploying mobile data collection tools and the presentation of case studies. In addition to the native smartphone application, EpiConcept also presented its free data collection tool Wepi (works with ODK - Open Data Kit Collect, a well known Android application) which was appreciated for its native support of right to left Arabic texts. The conference included a little over 100 individuals representing some forty aid agencies and was sponsored by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees).​

 

Mar 2016

As part of the 3rd steering committee for the Indian Ocean Commission’s (IOC) health surveillance programme which met on the 11th and 12th of February in the Seychelles, a workshop was held to discuss the preparedness of the region’s response to a Zika virus outbreak were it to happen. The steering committee was able to set down structural plans allowing greater cooperation among the health organisations of the region in order to meet the challenges of such disease outbreaks. Dr. Loïc Flachet, director of the SEGA One Health network, Dr. Alain Moren and Guillaume Jeannerod represented EpiConcept at this meeting. EpiConcept provides support for the work of the IOC’s health surveillance unit.

Feb 2016

The Eurosurveillance journal has published the results of a European multicentre study measuring the 2014/15 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness against laboratory confirmed-influenza. This multicentre study is one of the components of the  I-MOVE network and includes data from Germany, Ireland, Poland, Hungry, Portugal, Italy, Romania and Spain. Since 2008 the I-MOVE network has measured the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines and, in 2009, the effectiveness of the pandemic vaccine. The study is coordinated by EpiConcept in collaboration with the participating sites’ epidemiologists and the ECDC (European Centre for Disease prevention and Control). Marta Valenciano and Esther Kissling are the principal investigators for this study. They stated that, “In Europe, during the 2014/15 season, three flu viruses were circulating: B, A(H1N1) pdm09 and influenza A (H3N2). This case-control study was able to provide influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates against each of the three viruses. We were able to measure the effectiveness by vaccine type and by age group”.

Feb 2016

EpiConcept has published the I-MOVE multicentre case-control study early estimates of the effectiveness of the 2015-16 influenza vaccine. These results are shared with the WHO vaccine strain selection committee that will meet 22-24 February 2016 to define the composition of the 2016-17 northern hemisphere influenza vaccine. ​The I-MOVE network has been coordinated by EpiConcept since 2007. See more information about the interim results.

Feb 2016

In December 2015, EpiConcept was entrusted with an expertise mission sponsored by the WHO (World Health Organisation) to create a protocol for evaluating the direct and indirect effects of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) andthe anti-rotavirus vaccine for the Morrocan ministry of health. This mission has engaged the services of three epidemiologists from EpiConcept’s epidemiology department. The mission is planned to conclude this month.

Jan 2016

The centres for free and anonymous HIV screening (CDAG) and for information, screening and diagnostics of STDs (CIDDIST) from the Melun Hospital centre, Meulan-les-Mureaux hospital center, the French Red Cross of Paris, Toulouse university hospital centre, and the Paris social, children, and health action directorate have migrated to the new version of EpiConcept's CUPIDON information system as part of their accreditation to Free Centres for Screening and Diagnostics (CeGIDD). These centers now benefit from all the new functionalities specifically put in place for the CeGIDD centres.

Jan 2016

The Toulon university hospital centre has chosen EpiConcept’s Cupidon web application as its IT solution for anonymous screening and diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (CeGIDD). The solution allows the centre to manage all the consultations from the initial intake to the delivery of the results. The system will also automatically create quarterly activity results for the center and allow the user to consult an activity dashboard. This simple solution which is adapted to the screening center’s activities is an on-line web application made possible by EpiConcept’s ministry of health certification as a “Personal health data hosting provider”.

Dec 2015

The 2015 annual ESCAIDE (European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology) conférence took place on November 11-13 in Stockholm. Epidemiologists from EpiConcept and the Indian Ocean Commission's Sage project "One Health" (coordinated by EpiConcept) presented results in the form of oral presentations and posters.

SESSION PRESENTATIONS (abstracts here)

  • Esther Kissling - Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates from the I-MOVE multicentre case control study in Europe, 2014-15: low vaccine effectiveness against A(H3N2) and moderate vaccine effectiveness against A(H1N1)pdm09 and B
  • Germaine Hanquet - Indirect effect of childhood PCV10/13 vaccination on invasive pneumococcal disease among seniors 65 years old and over in six European countries (Spidnet network): Implications for PCV13 vaccination of the elderly
  • IOC - Alain RAKOTOARISOA - Bubonic plague outbreak investigation in the endemic district of Tsiroanomandidy - Madagascar, October 2014 (also presented in Mexico City at the 8th TEPHINET Global Conference 7-11 September 2015)
  • IOC - Lala Harisoa Rabetaliana - Pneumonic plague outbreak following case migration from the endemic highlands – municipality of Ambaohoabe, Madagascar, December 2013

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

  • Marc Rondy - High and rapid effectiveness of polysaccharide vaccines against clinical meningitis in Niger, 2015.
  • IOC- Rado Randriamiarana  - Evaluation of the reinforced Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response strategy using short message service data transmission in two southern regions of Madagascar, 2014-5. Presented by Ariane Halm.
  • IOC -Mireille Randria -  One year of sentinel surveillance of malaria and severe acute respiratory hospitalisations and deaths in Madagascar, September 2014 - August 2015.  Presented by Alain Rakotoarisoa.
  • IOC - Mireille Randria - Worrying resurgence of severe malaria in non-endemic area: Case of the hospital of Fianarantsoa, ​​from  October 2014 to May 2015, Madagascar.  Presented by Alain Rakotoarisoa.
  • IOC - Harimahefa Razafimandimby - Household and behavioural risk factors for human plague in Madagascar, 2012-3. Presented by Lala Harisoa Rabetaliana.
  • IOC - Ariane Halm - Four years of regional field epidemiology training programme in the Indian Ocean
Dec 2015

EpiConcept is collaborating with the Moroccan ministry of health in enhancing the surveillance systems for rotavirus and invasive pneumococcal infections for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the related vaccines between December 2014 and January 2016.

Dec 2015

The CDHS (Departmental Committee for social hygiene) has entrusted EpiConcept with the design and implementation of its electronic health records system for its six health centres in the Rhône department. The software is designed to optimize and facilitate the treatment plan, making appointments, waiting lists and the production of statistical reports. Centered around an individual patient, it covers vaccination, pulmonology, smoking issues, social aspects  and the management of inquiries into tuberculosis cases (DAMOC). Based on EpiConcept’s Voozanoo plateform, it benefits from the Ministry of Health’s certification for hosting personal health data. The application has been in use since October 2015.

Nov 2015

On the 26th and 27th of October, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) held its third scientific conference on the SEGA ONE HEALTH project. This programme’s goal is to reinforce surveillance, alerts, investigations and epidemic event responses. EpiConcept provides support for the work of the IOC’s  health surveillance unit.