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The Epi Info™ Story

Computers and Epi Info

Historical Summary

Before 1980: A few epidemiologists used mainframe computers or struggled to assemble, program, and use microcomputers.

Minicomputer software allowed CDC epidemiologists to develop questionnaires and analyze data through terminals.

The 80s: Microcomputers and local area networks became standard public health tools.

Epi Info™ and other database and statistics programs became standard equipment for public health. Epi Info™ was used for surveillance systems, disease investigations, surveys, clinical research, nutritional anthropometry, and veterinary and dental public health. Translations of the programs or manual appeared in 13 non-English languages. Worldwide copies exceeded 145,000 in 117 countries.

The 90s: Remote areas of the world, starved for scientific information, suddenly began to share information with scientists in major capitals via the Internet.

The Internet became the major route for distribution of Epi Info™, and approximately 400 users shared information via the Epi Info™ LISTSERV Discussion Group. The Epi Info™ Hotline began to serve users worldwide.

1999: EIS Officers and summer students at CDC regularly learn to process data after 1 or 2 days of instruction. More than half of U.S. households have computers.

Epi Info™ 2000 for Windows 95, 98, and NT will bring the benefits of hands-on questionnaire creation, database management, statistics, mapping and graphing to Windows, with Internet enhancements to follow.