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User Guides

ESSENCE Desktop Edition User’s Guide
[pdf, 6 MB]


ESSENCE Desktop Edition uDig Feature Installation Guide
[pdf, 311KB]


OpenESSENCE Administration Guide
[pdf, 339 KB]


OpenESSENCE Quick Start Guide
[pdf, 447 KB]


OpenESSENCE User Guide
[pdf, 1.7 MB]


OpenESSENCE Installation Guide
[pdf, 4 MB]


SAGES Mobile Data Collection Administration Guide
[pdf, 1 MB]


SAGES Mobile Data Collection User Guide
[pdf, 450 KB]


Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is SAGES?

SAGES (The Suite for Automated Global Electronic bioSurveillance) is a suite of freely available software tools designed to enhance electronic disease surveillance in resource-limited settings. SAGES leverages electronic disease surveillance tools developed at JHU/APL with other freely-available interoperable tools, and the available local technology infrastructure to enhance electronic disease surveillance capacity in resource-limited settings around the world.

SAGES features include mobile data collection, temporal and spatial analysis through geographic mapping, anomalous event detection, and dynamic query capability. Click here to read more

2. How much does the SAGES software cost?

The SAGES software is open source and freely available without license fees, therefore there is no cost associated with it.

3. What security features are included with the SAGES tools?

The web-based analysis and visualization tool, OpenESSENCE, features SSL encryption, as well username/password security, and role-based privileges.

4. Where does the data reside?

The data resides in a central PostGres database on a computer or laptop in your location. Data resides locally and is not transferred to any external country/organization.

5. What methods are available for data collection?

Web browser form – If internet/intranet access is available, then a laptop, desktop, or other web accessible device can connect to the OpenESSENCE web application to enter data directly into the OpenESSENCE database.
SMS – If cellular coverage is available, then Android smartphones or simple cell phones can be used to manually enter the information into Short Message Service (SMS) text messages. The SMS messages are received at a central point on an Android smartphone which is connected to a computer hosting the OpenESSENCE database. The SMS messages are automatically pulled from the receiving phone and written into the database.

Data entered through the OpenESSENCE web forms are encrypted using SSL encryption. Data entered through SMS can also be configured for encryption (optional).

6. What are the system requirements for the SAGES tools?

SAGES software is designed to run on existing hardware (laptop computer, desktop computer, cell phones) but there are some minimum recommended hardware specifications. OpenESSENCE can be installed on a computer running Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008. The computer should also have Apache Tomcat and GeoServer installed on it.

For mobile data collection using form-based SMS, the recommended minimum phone specification is Android OS version 2.2 or higher. The phone should have a storage capacity of 8GB+ external memory. The sender phone should have ODK Collect installed. The receiver phone should have RapidAndroid installed.

7. Can existing data be imported into the system?

Yes, but not directly. Existing data can be imported into the PostGres database using the PostGres database utilities.

8. Does SAGES support languages other than English?

Yes, the SMS mobile data collection tools and OpenESSENCE can be customized to support international languages and fonts.

9. What is the difference between ESSENCE Desktop Edition (EDE) and OpenESSENCE (OE)?

EDE is designed to run on a stand-alone computer as a self-contained application, whereas OE is a web-based application that can be accessed via the internet. However, OE does not need the internet to operate and can also be used as a stand-alone application. OE also supports language and font internationalization, which EDE does not support.

10. What data analysis and visualization features are included in OE and EDE?

OE and EDE both support building of queries that can be used to sort and filter the data for analysis and that can be saved for later use. Queries are built using a graphical user interface so that a detailed knowledge of structured query language (SQL) is not needed.

Time series visualization includes anomaly detection, image customization, and export of the time series image to a graphic file.

The data details view displays selected data in a tabular format, and supports column ordering and sorting. Data can be exported to Microsoft Excel and/or comma-separated values (CSV) files for further analysis.

The output of data queries can be used to create geographic maps for spatial analysis, as well as pie and bar charts.

11. What detection algorithms are available in the system?

Currently provided algorithms include Exponentially-weighted Moving Average (EWMA), linear regression, Poisson regression, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS versions 1, 2, and 3).