What is Epi Info™?
Physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, and other public health workers lacking a background in information technology often have a need for simple tools that allow the rapid creation of data collection instruments and data analysis, visualization, and reporting using epidemiologic methods. Epi Info™, a suite of lightweight software tools, delivers core ad-hoc epidemiologic functionality without the complexity or expense of large, enterprise applications.
Epi Info™ is easily used in places with limited network connectivity or limited resources for commercial software and professional IT support. Epi Info™ is flexible, scalable, and free while enabling data collection, advanced statistical analyses, and geographic information system (GIS) mapping capability.
Since its initial release, Epi Info™ users have self-registered in over 181 countries covering all continents including Antarctica. Epi Info™ has been translated in more than 13 languages.
More than one million users are estimated.
Epi Info™ is a key component in public health education at colleges, universities, and other schools of public health around the world.
Epi Info™ encourages collaboration between local, national, and international partners using Epi Info™ state and territorial epidemiologists; national centers, institutes, and government offices; and foreign ministries of health and United Nations World Health Organization constituents.
Epi Info™ is dedicated to enabling the innovation and leadership required to improve public health through informatics.
How is Epi Info™ Used?
Epi Info™ is used worldwide for the rapid assessment of disease outbreaks; for the development of small to mid-sized disease surveillance systems; as ad hoc components integrated with other large scale or enterprise-wide public health information systems; and in the continuous education of public health professionals learning the science of epidemiology, tools, and techniques.
- The Form Designer module of Epi Info™ allows users to create questionnaires and data entry forms in Epi Info™. With Form Designer, users place questions and data entry fields on one or many pages and tailor the data entry process with conditional skip patterns, data validation, and custom calculations programmed by the user using Form Designer's Check Code.
- The Enter module of Epi Info™ automatically creates the database from the questionnaire in Form Designer. Users enter data, modify existing data, or search for records. With Enter, the Forms are displayed and users perform the data entry while the Check Code validates the data or performs any automatic calculations that were specified in Form Designer.
- The Analysis module is used to read and analyze data entered with the Enter module or data imported from 24 different data formats. Epidemiologic statistics, tables, graphs, and maps are produced with simple commands such as READ, FREQ, LIST, TABLES, GRAPH, and MAP. As each command is run, it is saved to the program editor where it can be customized and saved, shared, and used in the future as data are revised.
- The Epi Map module displays geographic maps with data from Epi Info. Epi Map is built around the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) MapObjects software. Epi Map displays shapefiles containing the geographic boundaries layered with data results from the Analysis module.