Pre-conference: From lessons learned to innovative methods – strengthening the exchange of syndromic surveillance systems globally  

Tuesday 12 November, 13:30 – 17:00 Lisbon time (starting with network lunch at 12:30)

Organised by

Robert Koch-Institut, Germany 


Syndromic surveillance has proven to be a powerful tool for the early warning of infectious disease outbreaks and the timely monitoring of the impact of other hazards on population health. Establishing and running a syndromic surveillance system successfully is a difficult task. While every system comes with their own challenges, there are common problems to which solutions have already been implemented. Sharing of past insights, current challenges and successes as well as discussing innovative methods and novel processes of exchanging results and expertise within an active communitycan help improve syndromic surveillance on all levels.

This pre-conference session will bring together public health experts from different countries interested in managing syndromic surveillance systems. Experts from public health institutes with many years of experience in running such systems, e.g. UKHSA (United Kingdom), Santé publique France (France), Nivel (Netherlands), Robert Koch Institute (Germany), CDC (United States), will give presentations and lead discussion around several topics related to syndromic surveillance. Other interested conference participants are invited to contribute to the discussions and become part of the network.


The session will cover the following topics:

  1. Historic lessons: Challenges and solutions in establishing and running syndromic surveillance systems
  2. Current successes: Showcasing existing work that demonstrates the impact syndromic surveillance has
  3. Novel methods: Presenting overview of research and preliminary results of innovative methods (ML, automatization and early warning) in syndromic surveillance
  4. Future collaboration: Discussion of further network activities, knowledge repositories and processes to share information and early warning signals.


Part 1: 13:30 – 15:00

Topic 1: Historic lessons

  • Helen Hughes and Alex Elliot (UKHSA, United Kingdom): From Fax to SFTP: experiences from 25-years of real-time syndromic surveillance in England
  • Mariette Hooiveld (Nivel, Netherlands): Establishing a syndromic surveillance system based on electronic health records: practical experiences
  • Kristin Tolksdorf (RKI, Germany): Syndromic sentinel systems in Germany from the 2009/10 Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic to the 2020-2023 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Topic 2: Novel methods

  • Ana Paula Gomes Ferreira (RKI, Germany): Exploring the potential of AI for syndrome definition development
  • Aaron Kite-Powell (CDC, United States): Use of N-grams and Term Relationship Graphs in the Syndrome Definition Development Process

Part 2: 15:30 – 17:00

Topic 3: Current successes

  • tbd (SPF, France): Syndromic surveillance during the Olympic games in Paris 2024
  • Madlen Schranz (RKI, Germany): Signal detection in emergency department surveillance during the UEFA EURO 2024 in Germany
  • Mariette Hooiveld (Nivel, Netherlands) and Alex Elliot (UKHSA, United Kingdom): Monitoring acute changes in health problems using syndromic surveillance: from scabies to thunderstorm asthma
  • Tamara Gvaladze (RKI, Germany): Sentinel surveillance of respiratory syndromes in primary and secondary care

Topic 4: Future collaboration

  • Panel discussion on the needs and next steps for an active and more connected syndromic surveillance community – Panellists: Alex Elliot, Madlen Schranz, Mariette Hooiveld


The pre-conference is financially supported and the registration fee is only EUR 20. Networking lunch and refreshments are included. Number of registrations is limited to 50 persons.