There is a growing international awareness about the importance of the epidemiology of diseases and it is recognized that improved up-to date information of the environment, in which infectious diseases occur, will help epidemiologists to study, understand and predict threats to human health.

Within the scope of the Project "Epidemio", satellites will join this field as data source of epidemics. Satellites open up new opportunities to predict and help combat epidemic outbreaks, as well as joining the hunt for the origin of pathogens.

The scope of this project is to test and demonstrate the potential of Earth Observation for a new service which supplies new and improved types of information.

As a first step to reach the goal, a group of epidemiologists, the User Group, has provided the information requirements for their work to be supplied by the project.

These include: urban maps, digital elevation maps, maps of water bodies, vegetation maps, land cover maps, historical maps, land surface temperature maps and a service for monitoring wind-blown Sahelian dust.

Second step to the aim of the project from user side is that they have agreed to devote resources to assist ESA in achieving the objectives of the project by:

Assisting definition of a service and support the clarification of the User Requirements
Delivering suitable ground data for the study sites and any available ancillary data needed to implement and validate the required products.

Assisting assessment of the service.

At the end of the two project phases will be prepared two workshops. So the user group, potential new users and interested scientists will gain a direct insight in the project activities and the project team will get a direct response to their work from the experts.