SORMAS development

SORMAS was developed in 2014 in the wake of the West African Ebola outbreak by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and other partners. In 2016, it was then migrated to an open-source application.
Cloud technology allows SORMAS to be used in countries with weak digital infrastructure.

After a nine-month development phase, SORMAS was successfully tested in 85 public and private health facilities in two Nigerian states in 2015.

SORMAS Overview

SORMAS-ÖGD is a specialized model of the open-source eHealth tool SORMAS (Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System) for infection surveillance and outbreak management.

The goal of SORMAS is the prevention and control of infectious diseases in structurally weak regions, as well as the early detection of outbreaks. Currently, SORMAS can be used to manage 37 infectious diseases, such as:

  • Coronavirus
  • Ebola
  • Lassa Fever
  • Monkeypox
  • Rabies
  • Measles
  • Tuberculosis
  • Meningitis
  • Anthrax
  • Polio
  • Dengue fever
  • Yellow fever
  • Pest
  • Cholera
  • Malaria


More than 270 million people worldwide are now covered by SORMAS. In Europe, SORMAS is used primarily in Switzerland and France, in addition to Germany. There, SORMAS is used in 12 of 16 cantons (Switzerland) or 18 of 18 regions in France. In Nigeria, all 775 health offices use SORMAS, plus various hospitals and laboratories. There, for example, it could be used to control three simultaneous outbreaks. In Ghana, SORMAS is also used in 260 of 260 health offices, as well as in all 15 health offices in Fiji. 

For more information on SORMAS in an international context, click here:


SORMAS-ÖGD was adapted by the HZI specifically for the needs of the public health service (ÖGD) in Germany to enable effective contact person management during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which first appeared in 2019 and originated in China, poses major challenges for the population and the ÖGD in Germany. Especially the documented tracing of contact persons is costly and complicated. Public health departments are responsible for identifying contacts and monitoring them on a daily basis in accordance with RKI recommendations. SORMAS-ÖGD offers a case person and contact person management for this purpose.

SORMAS-ÖGD Properties

  • Deposit of the specific case definitions, laboratory documentation and data fields for Covid-19.
  • Procedures for identification and validation of exposures and contacts
  • Prospective control, task assignment, and documentation of contact monitoring.
  • Mobile offline use via smartphones/tablets with automatic synchronization of the database via mobile communication
  • Standardized and individual provision of the database and server for each health department
  • No license fees, source code freely available on GitHub
  • Complies with the Global Goods Maturity Index for Digital Health Tools and has been externally audited for data security
  • Future interface to the IfSG software SurvNet@RKI
  • Continuous optimization in cooperation with the health authorities

SORMAS-ÖGD implementation

SORMAS-ÖGD is used on virtual servers, which means that only employees of the corresponding health department have access to the data; the health department is the sole owner of the data. By using virtual servers, there are no installation or maintenance tasks.
The setup of the servers is done by a partner of the SORMAS Foundation.