May 1, 2015
Congratulations 2014–15 CompEpi PhD graduates Geoff Fairchild (Los Alamos National Laboratories), Jason Fries (Stanford University), Valerie Galluzzi (Rose Hulman Institute of Technology), Mauricio Monsalve (The University of Iowa), Alessio Signorini (Evidation Health) and Lucio Tolentino (Mashable.com).

April 13, 2015
Our paper entitled Hand Hygiene Duration and Technique Recognition using Wrist-Worn Sensors was presented at the 14th International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks.

October 20, 2014
Two papers about electronic measurement of hand washing have been published in the October’s issue of ICHE journal: one about the influence of coworkers on hand washing rates, and the other on detection of hand washing movement and its duration.

September 15, 2014
Our paper Mining the Demographics of Craigslist Casual Sex Ads to Inform Public Health Policy, Casual Sex-seeking Individuals has been presented at the 2014 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics.

November 3, 2013
Presented our work on coping with radio signal uncertainty has been presented at the 2013 Wireless Health conference.

December 13, 2012
Vaccine Refused, our new project to facilitate data collection from point of refusal, was released in the iTunes App Store for use by U.S. medical professionals.

November 9, 2012
Dr. Philip Polgreen and graduate student Jason Fries were featured on Iowa Public Radio discussing our research on hand hygiene in hospitals. Iowa Public Radio

February 1, 2012
Our article The Use of Twitter to Track Levels of Disease Activity and Public Concern in the U.S. During the Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic has won the Robert Wood Johnson’s Foundation Most Influential Research Articles of 2011.

March 4, 2011
Check out our new PLoS One article on Twitter and the H1N1 pandemic.

April 21, 2011
A new iScrub article on Infection Control Today (ICT)! iScrub Phone App Pilot Project Boost Hand Hygiene Compliance

April 4, 2011
iScrub in the news! New iPhone application improved hand hygiene compliance

April 1, 2011
CompEpi presented some new research at the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA 2011) in Dallas, Texas. Read more

December 1, 2010
Our group was well-represented at the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS 2010) in Park City, Utah. Read more

May 4, 2010
Do health care professionals perform hand hygiene? We’ve got an app for that! Read the press release.

March 17, 2010
The Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare Associated Infections advance press release features CompEpi research.

November 5, 2009
CompEpi graduate students Jason Fries, Donald Curtis, and Chris Hlady were winners in the Faculty/Staff/Graduate Assistant Business Plan Competition, hosted by the UI Business College’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, where they pitched the next generation iScrub system.

September 9, 2009
iScrub, our new iPhone/iPod Touch application for infection control professionals, is now available online at the Apple iTunes store.

June 18, 2009
Try our Maximal Coverage Calculator for near-optimal placement of sentinel surveillence sites.

More news…

A Mobile Phone Application for Recording Vaccine Refusals

D. Murphy, J. Cremer, P.M. Polgreen
International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance (February 2013).


Background: Although vaccines are a safe and effective approach for preventing morbidity and mortality, many people in developed countries are refusing vaccination for themselves and their children. Low vaccination rates are contributing to the re-emergence of vaccine preventable diseases around the world. More information is needed regarding when, where, and why vaccines are refused.

Methods: A vaccine-refusal app (Vaccine Refused) for iOS was created using Objective-C and Apple’s Cocoa Touch framework. The server component uses an app written in Python, using the open-source Django-Tastypie API framework to communicate app data via JSON feeds. Health professionals submit anonymized refusal reports by inputting patient sex and age range, hospital location, the vaccines refused, and reason for refusal. The app also offers a map of all reported refusals, filterable by date and vaccine, built using Apple’s MapKit framework and open source pin visualization libraries.

Results: Vaccine Refused was first deployed to U.S. medical professionals in September 2012. Testing feedback was then collected and refinements were made; this iterative process was repeated until testers were satisfied with the design and ease of use.

Conclusion: Vaccine Refused will facilitate simple and straightforward data collection for future research studies (local, national, and international). Collected data is accessible online using the same JSON feeds the app uses, providing unlimited usage in third-party tools. We believe the app will be most useful as a tool for conducting future studies with well defined patient populations.