SORMAS

symeda GmbH 

The symeda GmbH develops eHealth solutions since 2009. As pioneers for a comprehensive health care process, we combine our understanding of the market with up-to-date digital technologies. Backed by the vitagroup, we offer a unique service portfolio along the health care continuum, in doing so working with open and established standards.

What we offer

We at symeda connect expertise with the latest technologies. We are more than mere software developers: We want to create solutions that are valuable for everyone, not only a single enterprise. Because of that, we act patient-oriented. We advise the different actors in the health care system concerning their necessities and, together with them, develop individual solutions that benefit both our clients as well as the health care system as a whole. The connection of consulting and development characterizes our work and defines a great software solution.

Have we caught your interest? You’re welcome to contact us via mail: info@symeda.de or telephone: 0531/7022 0160.

Introduction to SORMAS

SORMAS (Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System) is an open source early warning and management system aimed at preventing or keeping the spread of dangerous infectious diseases at bay. It is used by healthcare workers, epidemiologists or other instructed personnel to gather detailed information about potential or confirmed cases of one of the diseases covered by SORMAS. This, for example, includes data about the symptoms they are showing, their travel history, the contacts they had with other humans or animals, attended gatherings, and a lot more. SORMAS allows medical personnel to enter this data in a centralized system where it becomes immediately available to everyone else involved in the process, to quickly gain an overview of the overall situation, and therefore to quickly take action against the spread of these diseases.

SORMAS is split into two separate pieces of software. Healthcare workers and other people working in the field use a mobile Android app that allows them to create or edit cases as well as the most important information associated with them, to report back to their superiors, and to be notified of tasks that have been assigned to them. This app is fully offline-capable, which is essential for the system to be used in countries and areas with a weaker infrastructure, and automatically synchronizes its data with a central database. Supervisors or other personnel with a more directive role use a web application that is accessed via web browser. They immediately get access to the cases gathered in the field and additional tools, such as detailed statistics, visual maps displaying the spread of cases, infrastructure management, and more.

As an open source project, SORMAS is free of charge and the source code is publicly available on GitHub (https://github.com/hzi-braunschweig/SORMAS-Project).

What SORMAS offers

SORMAS contains (or, as it is still in development, will contain) all steps necessary for case detection and contact follow-up and includes all parties involved in this process, starting with informants in health facilities and laboratories up to the national level where members of the national health authority may use the system to oversee the situation in a whole country. Our aim is to make SORMAS fully customizable so that users without any technical background can modify the system, for example to add new diseases or change the way cases are classified or outbreaks are detected for existing ones, or even to set up a new SORMAS instance for a new country. As SORMAS is initially developed for West-African countries, which is why offline capabilities – even to the point where creative solutions allow the mobile app to be used in areas with no mobile data available at all – are one of our topmost priorities. And finally, both apps are developed in close exchange with the medical personnel that is using them to make them as user-friendly as possible.

Where SORMAS is used

Even though SORMAS is still in development, it is already used in the field. The deployment started in November 2017 to fight a Monkeypox outbreak in two districts in Nigeria, and its usage was further extended during the Meningitis and Lassa outbreaks in 2018. As of October 2018, SORMAS is used in 15 states in Nigeria, covering 155 Local Government Areas and around 36 Million inhabitants, and is currently extending to cover the whole country as well as migrating to Ghana.

The role of symeda

The symeda GmbH is in charge of the SORMAS development since 2016, where we took over from a closed source prototype and created a new open source version based on modern web and mobile technologies. We are in constant exchange with the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, as well as with the users of SORMAS in Nigeria, to always control the development process in a way that allows us to quickly react to new challenges and changed requirements in the field. This agile development process made it possible to prepare SORMAS for the Monkeypox, Meningitis and Lassa outbreaks in 2017 and 2018, and it also allows us to use our experience in creating eHealth software to, in cooperation with our partners, create a system that perfectly satisfies the exact needs of its current and future users.