Digital Data and Exploratory Spaces for Strengthening Infectious Disease Research in the One Health nexus

The digital transformation offers significant opportunities to advance infectious disease research through the adoption of digital data practices and computer-assisted methodologies. Novel data sets and advanced technologies enable a deeper exploration of infectious diseases, ranging from understanding the pathogens responsible to comprehending the complexities of global disease transmission. This is particularly pertinent given the enduring presence of severe endemic diseases and those of pandemic potential, particularly originating from zoonotic infectious diseases.

Accordingly, harmonizing diverse data resources scattered among different silos yields valuable insights into the complex interplay of multiple factors that influence the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, thereby promoting scholarly discourse and knowledge exchange across various research domains and stakeholders. However, to fully capitalize on these opportunities, researchers need collaborative data platforms and tools that allow for effective operation at the intersection of different fields. The project "DiDEX: Digital Data and Experimental Spaces for Strengthening Infectious Disease Research in the One Health nexus" is designed to address this need.


Visual Teaser of the research and development project "DiDEX - Digital Data and Experimental Spaces for Strengthening Infectious Disease Research in the One Health nexus. It maps schematically the collaboration between life sciences and computer science on the basis of a shared data hub, along with the core objectives of the project.
DiDEX Visual Teaser   Juliane Boenecke / BNITM


DiDEX aims to establish a digital data and experimental space to strengthen interdisciplinary research towards a better understanding of infectious disease dynamics and outbreak risks in the One Health nexus. Its central feature is a novel geographic information system (GIS) that brings together, harmonizes, and processes health and open socio-ecological context data, primarily designed for epidemiological analyses. To facilitate its transfer into practice, DiDEX's objectives are

  1. to (re-)evaluate user needs from different sectors and optimize the usability of the system
  2. to develop a data integration interface in line with common data practice of different fields of infectious disease research
  3. to create technical interfaces for the utilization of harmonized data, such as through a collaborative data repository or interoperability with commonly used analysis software


Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine Department Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  - Lab Group Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  - Data Management
  - International Teaching and Capacity Building Unit
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences Department of Computer Sciences / MARS Group
  Department of Health Sciences
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin Institute of Virology / Charité Center for Global Health
German Red Cross e.V. Surge Unit / Health Unit


The DiDEX project builds on the pre-prototypical outputs of the ESIDA research network (Epidemiological Surveillance for Infectious Diseases in sub-Saharan Africa), which are licensed under CC BY 4.0 (concept: DOI 10.5281/zenodo.7322396) and MIT (software approach: ESIDA Module 4).

Over a period of two years, the team will be funded and supported by the Innovation Academy of the Joachim Herz Foundation in order to transfer the software approach into a sustainable application for applied infectious disease research. From the beginning, the project team is working closely with potential user groups, primarily stakeholders in global health research and outbreak preparedness and response.

For more details on the Joachim Herz Foundation's initiative visit their website.


Funding Period 2023-2025
Funding Body Joachim Herz Foundation
  Innovationsakademie für angewandte Infektionsforschung

Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Prof. Dr Jürgen May:ein Forscher, der eine Glatze hat und ein weißes Hemd mit grauem Sakko trägt.
Head of Dpt. Infectious Diseases Epidemiology

Prof. Dr Jürgen May

phone: +49 40 285380-402

email: may@bnitm.de

Ulrike Kolander: eine Assistentin, die kurze helle Haare, eine Brille und ein weißen Pullover trägt.

Ulrike Kolander

phone: +49 40 285380-402

fax: +49 40 285380-400

email: kolander@bnitm.de

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