Research Projects and Collaborations

Improving Quality of Care and Health Impact through Sustainable, Integrated, Innovative Information System Technologies in Malawi under the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

The purpose of this project is to develop disease-monitoring solutions that support care for AIDS patients in Malawi.

Semantic LAMHDI: Linking Diseases to Model Organism Resources

The goal of this work is to facilitate the identification of models for disease research, make better use of existing model organisms and in vitro resources and data about them, and provide the ability to uncover new relationships between disease, phenotypes and genes that will further our understanding of disease. 

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Since 2001, Dr. Espino has managed software development, systems deployment and production operations of the Real-time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance Laboratory at the Department of Biomedical Informatics. In 1999, he wrote the prototype for the first real-time disease surveillance system—the Real-time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance (RODS) system.  Subsequently, he managed the RODS programming team (5 full-time programmers in 2005) who developed open source versions of the RODS software. Since then, RODS and its derivatives have been deployed in Pennsylvania, Utah, Ohio, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Ottawa and nationwide in Taiwan.  In 2004, his team created the National Retail Data Monitor, which collects, analyzes and makes available over-the-counter healthcare product sales data to public health departments.  Starting in 2003, he managed the production services at the RODS Laboratory that offered their tools as 24/7 software-as-a-service products to public health departments. Prior to commercialization in 2007, the lab’s RODS service was connected in real-time via 29 HL7 connections to over 200 hospitals and provided surveillance services to three states and three counties.  The lab continues to operate the National Retail Data Monitor as a web-based application and Web service providing over-the-counter medication sales data from 12 retailers representing over 33,000 retail stores to eight states and 33 counties.  Throughout its existence the lab’s services have provided surveillance tools and data to over 1100 users.