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i-sense Q&A series: Traditional and digital epidemiological surveillance and their place during an outbreak

Home > I Sense Qa Series Traditional and Digital Epidemiological Surveillance and Their Place During

This i-sense virtual Q&A series highlights topics related to infectious disease outbreaks preparedness and response – focusing on what we have learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, what we need to do to ensure we are ready to respond to the next infectious disease outbreak, and how we can better protect our population and healthcare systems now and in the future.

Each month we will explore different themes related to developing tools and technologies to track, test and treat infectious diseases. As preparing for and responding to an outbreak is a collaborative effort, we’ll gain perspective from experts in academia, government and policy, healthcare, and industry.

This month we explored the topic 'Traditional and digital epidemiological surveillance and their place during an outbreak.'

Our panel members

Dr Richard Pebody
Lead of the High-threat Pathogen team at the World Health Organization, Europe

Dr Richard Pebody is currently working with WHO Europe as the technical lead for COVID-19, influenza and other high threat pathogens. He was the national lead for surveillance of influenza and other acute viral respiratory infections at PHE and led the HPA epidemiological investigation of the 2009 pandemic. He has been responsible for leading the development and introduction of a range of new respiratory surveillance systems since the pandemic. He is responsible for developing the surveillance programme to assess the impact and effectiveness of the forthcoming childhood influenza vaccination programme.

Dr Daniela Paolotti
Researcher in the Computational Epidemiology and Public Health group at ISI Foundation, Turino

Dr Daniela Paolotti has a background in Physics (Bsc, MSc, Ph.D.). She is a Principal Researcher Scientist at ISI Foundation in Turin, Italy. Her work has a strong interdisciplinary approach. For more than ten years, she has been working on applying tools from complex systems and networks science, applied mathematics, computer science, data science, behavioral sciences to study disease spreading from an epidemiological as well as social point of view. Since 2008, she has been developing and coordinating a Europe-wide network of Web-based platforms for participatory surveillance of Influenza-like Illness. More recently, at ISI she has co-founded a research area devoted to themes related to Data Science and Social Impact.

Prof John Brownstein
Prof of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School, and Chief Innovation Officer, Boston Children's Hospital 

John Brownstein, PhD is Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School and is the Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. He directs the Computational Epidemiology Lab and the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator both at Boston Children’s. He was trained as an epidemiologist at Yale University. Dr. Brownstein is also co-founder of digital health companies Epidemico and Circulation and an ABC News Medical Contributor.

How the Q&A will work

  • It’s free to join and open to everyone
  • We’ll be taking questions in the Microsoft Teams chat, or you can submit questions in advance to (let me know if you would like to be name as the person asking the question and who you would like to direct the question to)
  • The Q&A will run strictly to time, but we will try get to as many questions as possible in that time

Get involved 

If you have suggestions of topics you would like to explore in the future or questions you want answers, email them to

Instructions to join the virtual event

This event is hosted in a Microsoft Teams meeting by i-sense at UCL.

Please ensure that you have the Microsoft Teams App installed. If you already use Teams, sign in to the Teams App using the credentials issued by your host university, business or other provider. If you do not have the Teams App installed, or are not currently using Teams, please install the Teams App.

Please note we are unable to offer technical support to participants.