ISVEE-15 (12-16 November 2018)

The potential of ontologies to improve surveillance in resource-constrained environments was highlighted by members linked to this group at the 15th meeting of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE-15) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This meeting, which takes place every three years, is arguably the largest global gathering of veterinary epidemiologists and related researchers. This year’s theme was, “Learning & Sharing Today, Building Better Animal & Human Health Tomorrow”.

On the first day of the conference our colleague Laura Skippen presented a talk entitled, “Improving animal healthcare decision-making in Ethiopian paraprofessionals using a smartphone application”. This application is currently being expanded to deal with a much wider set of animal species and diseases, as well as languages, and ontologies are being used to support these extensions. Later in the conference a poster was presented which provided additional details as to how this ontology-based support was being delivered as part of the Differential Disease Diagnosis Framework (D3F). Use this link to download the poster, Using ontologies to create open source smartphone-based differential disease diagnosis and reporting tools for animals in rural settings, for more details.

Big Data in Agriculture (03-05 October 2018)


Last week a group of over 300 data analysts, digital solution providers and researchers from a variety of plant and animal science sectors gathered in Nairobi, Kenya to share experiences and discuss the challenges involved in “Decoding the Data Ecosystem”. This was the title given to the 2nd Big Data in Agriculture Convention run by the CGIAR and was somewhat unusual for such conventions in that the word “ontology” appeared in titles of talks or seminars on each of the three days.

Crawford Revie from our AHSO coordinating team presented a talk on the new D3F (Differential Disease Diagnosis Framework) initiative, which is using the AHSO and its linked ontologies to scale up a mobile-phone based application to better diagnose and treat disease across a range of livestock species in sub-Saharan Africa. He also ran a booth as part of the Animal Data Safari in which he demonstrated EDDiE: An mHealth Android app for livestock disease diagnosis and passive surveillance. (Details of how D3F enables the creation of mobile apps such as EDDiE can be found here.)

InnovSur forum – 16-18 May 2018

Last week the InnovSur forum discussed “the gaps and needs in next generation of health surveillance: innovations in animal, human and environmental health surveillance”.

Our own Ann Lindberg was one of the Keynote speakers, with an informative presentation on “Exploring drivers and constraints to evidence-based change in animal health surveillance systems” which you can find here. How do we strengthen our research to support policy? How do we ensure that surveillance research gets translated into surveillance practice? Find more information in the presentation and in the InnovSur website, through the links above.

Estelle Ågren presented the poster “Assessing surveillance of endemic disease by calculation of case-finding capacity”, which describes an evaluation method for surveillance with multiple and risk-based components (SC). See the poster for Methods and Results.

And remember to save the date for the 4th International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance – 20-22 of May, 2020, in Copenhagen!!!

MedVetNet conference 2017

The 5th MedVetNet conference took place at the University of Surrey, 27-29 June 2017.

A chance to present the Animal Health Surveillance Ontology and discuss data-driven applications in animal health in general,  and surveillance in particular.

Of particular note was the Big Data and Digital Information section:
– Dr. George Gunn talked about big data and opportunities for animal health
– Dr. Rimma Driscoll highlighted the role of Zoetis in digital innovation for Animal Health
– Dr. Alex Cook discussed opportunities, barriers and drivers.
Also, check out vHive.buzz!
– Dr. Fernanda Dórea introduced AHSO – you can get the full presentation here.
– Dr. Phil Godsiff’s inspiring talk was titled “How could implementing BlockChain technology impact the livestock value chain”. If you are new to the concept, check out this text for beginners, or

AHSO is a project funded by Vinnova, with co-funding from the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA). For more information on the project partners, visit the AHSO page.