News

Jul 2015

The I-MOVE+ (Integrated Monitoring of Vaccines in Europe) is a consortium of 24 partners (regional and national public health Institutes, Small and Medium Enterprises, Universities) from 17 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. I-MOVE+ has received a three year grant (May 2015 - May 2018) from the European Commission (Horizon 2020) to identify, pilot test, use, and disseminate the best study designs to measure, in  the effectiveness and impact of vaccines used in the elderly population to prevent influenza and pneumococcal infections. I-MOVE+ is organised in five work packages under the coordination of EpiConcept (www.i-moveplus.eu).

Jul 2015

The Myology Institute (www.institut-myologie.org/en) is creating a natural history prospective study of 70 patients infected with spinal amyotrophy type 2 and 3. This study is coordinated by Dr. Laurent Servais. It is a multicentric study involving nine centres in three countries (France, Germany, Belgium). The principal objective of the study is to characterise the evolution of the disease in the patients, and with a secondary objective to identify the variables for prognosis and disease progression biomarquers. The Voozanoo platform, which is already being used by the Myology Institute, was chosen as the tool for data collection for this new study. The clinical research assistants will enter the responses from paper CRFs (case report forms) filled in by doctors, biologists or physical therapists at each patient visit.

Jul 2015

The REVELA 13 observatory is a surveillance programme for kidney, bladder and acute Leukaemia cancers in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of France.  It is upgrading its Voozanoo information system to a relational database with geographic metadata. Originally hosted on the InVS (French Institute for public health surveillance) Voozanoo platform, it has been migrated to EpiConcept’s hosting platform to optimize the operations performed on the collected data and to integrate geolocation. The current method requires too much manual intervention for data collection, data entry and deduplication. This project will enable faster processing of all data sent to the centre by institutions and RCPs (multidisciplinary concertation meetings).

Jul 2015

In collaboration with the WHO (World Health Organisation), an epidémiologist from EpiConcept drafted two study protocols for measuring the effectiveness of vaccines against meningococcal meningitis in Niger. The studies are currently taking place in the two districts of Niamey II et Ouallam. The studies were made for the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with the CERMES laboratory and the MenAfrinet network.

Jun 2015

During the two days of the Asia-Pacific Influenza Summit & antiviral forum (June 10 & 11) organised in Hanoi, Vietnam by APACI (Asia-Pacific Alliance for the control of influenza), EpiConcept presented the influenza vaccine effectiveness results for Europe from the years 2008 to 2015. The results of studies from the I-Move groupe were presented.

Jun 2015

As part of the continuing FETP with the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (http://www.chp.gov.hk/en), from the 1st to the 5th of June, EpiConcept organised and led a training workshop on investigating epidemics.

Jun 2015

In collaboration with the World Health Organisation, EpiConcept participated in the preparation and teaching of a workshop in Morocco targeting the preparation of francophone epidemiologists from the mediterranean region on the prevention and control of the Ebola epidemic. Two epidemiologists from EpiConcept contributed to this training which took place on May 18 to 22.

May 2015

The Electronic Business Group (EBG), the leading business club for the digital economy in France invited Guillaume Jeannerod, president of EpiConcept along with representatives from Orange Healthcare and Withings to share their thoughts on the coming wave of connected objects and the "Big data" that they produce.  In the second of three round-tables "The boom of connected objects for health: big data for prevention?" (EBG website) Mr. Jeannerod discusses some of the challenges (video here) of creating value through innovation from a trove of current and future health data while at the same time respecting the legal obligations for dealing with personal health data.

May 2015

EpiConcept has put in place a Voozanoo platform for collecting information from the participants of the Constances cohort (www.constances.fr). This platform allows the cohort management team to create their own questionnaires which respect the strict confidentiality and anonymity of the data collected. For security, the platform does not manage information about the  identification of the collected data but rather, through a web service, relies on a third party trusted service to store data about identity. The platform includes a mass-mailing function which uses a specialised service from Orange.

The first version of the questionnaire campaign manager includes the possibility to define the participant groups based on the questionnaire being sent as well as a reminder system for each questionnaire. Constances is a very large epidemiological study composed of a sample representing 200,000 adults aged 18 to 69 who visit the national insurance’s health examination centers. The data collected will be used to support a variety of studies, for example: visual deficiency; mobile phones and health; or the prevention of the effects of aging.

The research projects are subject to validation from an international scientific council, an institutional piloting committee and the agreement of the national commission for informatiques and civil liberties (CNIL). This project which carries the label “Investment for the future” from the general investment commission is led by UMS 11 of the Inserm UVSQ in partnership with the national health insurance, national retirement insurance and has support from the General Directorate of Health.

 

May 2015

On 17 April, a Research Fellow and Graduate students from the University of Johannesburg completed a week of training in Paris on the ODK (Open Data Kit) mobile data collection system. They were joined by a Senior Research Fellow from the University of Cape Town. The participants used a variety of tools (including EpiConcept’s Wepi application) to create and modify the questionnaires to be used on ODK Collect, a widely used Android application (over 50,000 downloads) for data collection with telephones and tablets.

They also learned how to manage a distant server which the enumerators will be sending their data collection results to. Dr. Johane Dikgang from the department of Economics and Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg will use the system to carry out surveys for his various projects including the SANCOOP meat project, South African power outages project and the consumer responses to plastic bags in Botswana and South Africa project. Professor Edwin Muchapondwa stated at the close of the training, “I feel empowered!”. Prof. Muchapondwa had previously subcontracted the creation of a mobile data collection system for a previous study at Kruger National Park in 2014. The team now has the ability to put in place and manage their survey projects from A-Z for themselves. A shorter three-day version of this course, open to the general public, will be held at EpiConcept in the beginning of October. See here for more info.

 

Mar 2015

A contract has been signed between EpiConcept and the Tunisian Ministry of Health for EpiConcept to develop and put in place an emerging disease surveillance system in collaboration with Tunisian general practitioners and hospitals.  The work will include epidemiological evaluation, writing the surveillance protocols and IT specifications,  development of an IT application and training on computer tools for surveillance. The work began in March and is to be completed in June.

Mar 2015

The two-week epidemiology training in Veyrier du Lac, France conducted for the ECDC (Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) finished on the 28th of February. The course comprised five facilitators and 30 trainees from 22 EU countries.  Through hands-on activities, EU epidemiologists were trained in the use of IT and statistics tools for surveillance, investigation, research and communication activities.

Mar 2015

The Healthcare Data Insititute is an international think tank concerned with big data in the health arena and was initiated in November of 2014 by Orange Healthcare. The Healthcare Data Institute, a catalyser of ideas for France and beyond, has tasked itself with advancing the reflections on big data, educating the public, improving understanding, and encouraging the creation of concrete projects by promoting cross-fertilization among its members. EpiConcept joined the Healthcare Data Institute as a memeber in December to contribute to this initiative through its expertise in epidemiology and applied public health information systems.

Feb 2015

The Shoklo Malaria Research Unit had created its own information system in 2014 using the publicly available Voozanoo portal and have since contacted EpiConcept to put in place new capabilities. This information system for fighting malaria in Thailand and Myanmar is fed from direct on-line entry and from SMS messages. The system then creates a weekly dashboard view of the collected data for the partners involved (local organisations, financial backers, authorities, etc.). EpiConcept’s involvement began in December of 2014 and is expected to be completed within the first quarter of this year.

Feb 2015

The Inserm’s Unit 1018 team 9 “Lifestyle, genes and health: transgenerational integrated epidemiology" has chosen EpiConcept to put in place its data collection platform for their extensive E4N study. The principal objective of the E4N study (http://e4n.fr) is to better understand the factors of lifestyle, genetic heritage and family (or extra-family) environment in the development of chronic diseases.  Information about the family health history, genetic information and environmental exposures will allow the group to study the risk factors for chronic widespread diseases as well as the role of early exposure to environmental agents on adult health.
This IT project began in February of 2015 and is slated for its first use in the 4th quarter of this year. It will allow the team to manage the questionnaires by themselves using Voozanoo as well as be used to interface with the new wave of wearable “connected” health objects. The E4N project has been selected as an “Investment in the Future” by the national research agency and the general investment commission.

Feb 2015

Based on EpiConcept’s Voozanoo4 framework, this new analysis module uses the open source R program designed for statistical computing and graphics. In keeping with the “lego” method for application development, this module can be used by a Voozanoo created application or called by another third party application as a web service. The first usage of this module has been for the GESIS application (third party) created by AEDES deployed in Chad for the national health information system with the financial support of the European Union . The module has both pre-programmed functions as well as the facility to use the R programming language directly. The active collaboration of individuals from AEDES and the Chad national health system added greatly to the quality of the module allowing it, most certainly, to see wider implementation in the future.

 

Jan 2015

The French Agency for Development has put on-line a synthesis of the seminar “Information and communication technologies : Innovative health solutions in Africa” (in french). Guillaume Jeannerod, EpiConcept’s general director, gave the perspectives of EpiConcept during the round-table session entitled “Distance training for health personnel, epidemiological surveillance and diagnostic assistance : Information and communication technologies as health interfaces. Can we do everything at a distance?”

Jan 2015

Etalab and the French national health insurance agency organized a hackathon day (collaborative computer-based event) on the 26th of January for the exploitation of the DAMIR database. Taking place at the Paillasse in Paris, an “open source” biology laboratory, software developers, data scientists, economists and researchers worked in teams on various “big data” projects using the DAMIR database made available exclusively for this occasion. The DAMIR database contains all the  transactions from several years of health insurance reimbursements (amounting to several hundred gigbytes of data) having, of course, all names or personal information removed. At the close of the day, the re-use of the data was presented by each group showing the new usages, services and associated applications of this data.
A team from EpiConcept compared the DAMIR database and public data from the national breast cancer screening programme to show the interest in crossing these data to calculate the cost of this public health programme. The event allowed the various teams to understand the extent and content of the DAMIR database as well as resolve the difficulties in exploiting it through the aid of the national health insurance team that was present. At the end of the day, the minister of health, Marisol Touraine, came to see the results of the various projects and to encourage this kind of data sharing which will support future technical advances.

Jan 2015

From the 16th to the 28th of February, EpiConcept will be running its “Into Epi” course in Veyrier du Lac, France for the European CDC (Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). The objective of the course is to train, through hands-on activities, European epidemiologists in the use of IT and statistics tools for surveillance, investigation, research and communication activities.

Jan 2015

EpiConcept has been contracted by the Hong Kong department of health for a sixth year of Field Epidemiology training which will be composed of courses and distance supervision of FETP (field epidemiology training program) trainees.