Chapter 2: What is PODD?

updated on 01 June 2022


To learn what the PODD Project is and how it can help communities prevent pandemics & other health emergencies.

What is PODD?

PODD is a disease surveillance platform that empowers local communities to prevent zoonotic spillovers. We turn local community members into disease detectives in order to prevent emerging diseases from spreading to humans. 

PODD History

PODD was launched in 2014 by a team of veterinarians, public health experts, livestock development experts, government officials, engineers, designers, and a team of community volunteers as a response to the frequent zoonotic spillovers occurring in Southeast Asia.

Since 2014, PODD has recruited over 600 local government officials handling reported cases and over 20,000 “disease detectives” participating in community disease surveillance. Over the past six years, PODD has recorded 328,000 disease detection reports and successfully prevented widespread transmission in more than 75 animal outbreaks. 36 incidents reported to the PODD system have been verified as dangerous zoonotic diseases that could spread to humans and cause pandemics. These dangerous diseases would have never been detected and contained without the PODD system. 

How Does PODD Relate to One Health?

The PODD system protects the health of animals and the environment, and in doing so it protects the health of humans. PODD connects livestock owners with local officials via simple and effective technology, linking animal health with human health, and operationalizing the critically important One Health approach that you learned about in the previous lesson.

We give farmers, livestock owners, and community volunteers a mobile application to take pictures of sick animals and other abnormal health events in their community. The application sends these photos, along with observation notes (and location data), to local veterinarians and health officials. Once the system analyzes the reported data, PODD activates appropriate responses to contain a potential outbreak. 

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