Chapter 7: PODD Technology

updated on 01 June 2022

What makes the PODD technology innovative is that it brings the public back into public health. PODD is open source — 100% free to copy & use and globally accessible to anyone with an internet connection. 

The PODD Platform is the disease surveillance software powering PODD including the mobile app, outbreak manager, and the API. 

Disease Data Collection with PODD Mobile

PODD volunteers contribute data via the PODD Mobile application. PODD Mobile supports both Android and iOS devices, offline data collection for rural areas with limited connectivity, and supports translation in 6 languages: English, Thai, Laos, Khmer, and Hindi. 

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Manage Outbreaks with PODD Manager

Disease data is collected into decentralized repositories owned and managed by local health and government officials via the PODD Manager. They are able to run reports and analyze the real-time data coming in from farms. When enough cases of sick animals with similar characteristics are reported within a defined radius, PODD Manager triggers the following actions:

  1. Automated alerts are sent to local health authorities who manage the reported area.
  2. Preliminary guidance is automatically delivered to the volunteer, instructing them to quarantine the animal and disinfect the surrounding areas. 
  3. The local officials will then communicate directly with the livestock owner via a chat feature within PODD Manager and dispatch a local response team, if necessary. 
  4. Local responders collect lab samples and work with community members on preventative or outbreak control measures.
  5. All activity tracking and case outcomes are recorded in PODD Manager for historical case reporting.

Connect Local and National Surveillance with the PODD API

The PODD API integrates mobile applications built with the PODD Platform with the PODD Manager as well as external government systems. The API provides the foundation for multi-tenant implementations of PODD in various countries. Case Definitions, Notification Structures, and Role Hierarchies according to local contexts are mapped with the PODD API. 

Beyond Animal Health 

While PODD is inspired by livestock disease surveillance, the system is extensible enough to solve other One Health issues as well. Local governments have previously used PODD to control Dengue & Malaria outbreaks, report wildfires, and support sustainable organic farming.

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