Public Health Survey for iPad

Client Description
Local health departments and CDC noticed that Syphilis was sharply on the rise in Portland, and needed to survey 200 patients and controls with very sensitive and direct questions to understand and stop the spread of the disease.

  • There are usually only 50 cases of Syphilis a year in Oregon, but suddenly there were a few hundred, which triggered fast action by the CDC.
  • Extremely confidential data needed to be answered on iPad by patients directly
  • Survey had to be easy enough to use where patient needed no external instruction
  • After each survey was complete, it was encrypted on iPad
  • Survey had a complicated set of skip patterns and 80 questions
  • Database had full reporting and export features
  • Questions were asked in English and Spanish
  • Project was conceived, built, tested and deployed in 4 weeks
  • Five doctors from CDC flew to Oregon to administer the survey
  • Survey data was synced from iPad daily to main database
  • Worked with MDs to translate survey questions from paper form into iPad app
  • Built in FileMaker Pro, with FileMaker Go on the iPad
  • Data was analyzed by CDC and local public health MDs
  • Several public health programs were put in place to target communities
  • Spread of syphilis was greatly reduced as a direct result of these efforts
  • A paper was published by CDC


Referral Contact:
Malina B. DeSilva, MD, MPH

Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Oregon Health Authority
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 772
Portland, OR 97232