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Version 0.9 of NetEpi Case Manager now available

From: Tim Churches <tchur(at)optushome(dot)com(dot)au>
To: PostgreSQL Announce <pgsql-announce(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Version 0.9 of NetEpi Case Manager now available
Date: 2005-06-14 18:42:30
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Lists: pgsql-announce
Version 0.9 of NetEpi Case Manager is now available via

NetEpi Case Manager is a tool for securely collecting structured
information about cases and contacts of communicable (and other)
diseases of public health importance, through Web browsers and the
Internet. New data collection forms can be designed and deployed quickly
by epidemiologists, using a Web browser 'point-and-click' interface,
without the need for knowledge of or training in any programming
language. Data can then be collected from authenticated users of the
system, who can be located anywhere in the world, into a centralised
database. All that is needed by users of the system is a relatively
recent Web browser and an Internet connection (“NetEpi” is short for
“Network-enabled Epidemiology”).

Development of NetEpi Case Manager has been motivated in large part by
the challenge of collecting rapidly changing data from many sources in
the event of an outbreak of an emerging communicable disease, such as
SARS and HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza). However, we hope that
it has utility in addressing other distributed, ad hoc data collection
problems in the public health and health care domains.

NetEpi Case Manager is built with Python and PostgreSQL.
A full list of prerequisites and installation notes are available at

Version 0.9 incorporates a large number of improvements over previous
versions, including:

* simplification of and cosmetic improvements to the user interface and
  workflow (thanks to Benay Wettle for documenting the specification of
  the new user interface so thoroughly) - sample screenshots available

* greater robustness and improved security;

* improved validation of field inputs;

* the ability to specify help pages (and images) for each question on
  a form;

* the ability to roll-forward data collected with previous versions of
  a form to the latest version;

* the ability to export contact as well as case information in a
  "flattened" format suitable for analysis and reporting;

* comprehensive end-user and administrator guides (the latter over 100
  pages long);

* additional installation options to allow easier customisation;

* much greater speed when deployed via FastCGI on the Web server;

* an initial suite of functional tests using the excellent open source
  Selenium web application test environment, as well as some  additional
  unit tests.

We welcome feedback (and bug reports) on this new release, as well as
contributions to future releases. Please contact us directly by email or
use the NetEpi mailing list (see ).

Apart from contributions from experienced Python programmers, we would
be very happy to hear from anyone willing to do further work on the
documentation (using OpenOffice2), and from anyone willing to write
additional Selenium test scripts (programming expertise not required,
although a degree of patience and a logical, systematic approach to the
task is essential).

Tim Churches and Andrew McNamara

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