Infectious Disease Surveillance




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My Role and Activities

  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Data Visualisation

As part of the BlueDot team, I led the design concept for the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard. During an infectious disease outbreak, public sentiment can overwhelm evidence-based data. This dashboard concept was created for an international insurance company to provide timely and accurate information about emerging infectious disease threats.

BlueDot's main product targets governments, so this dashboard was an interesting challenge in combining clinical medicine and public health expertise with big data analytics in a way that is relevant and actionable for insurance industry professionals.

Compilation of wireframes for the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard

A compilation of various dashboard wireframes exploring information architecture and delivery mechanisms.


I began the dashboard design process by interviewing infectious disease clinicians and epidemiologists about the characteristics of an infectious disease event. We identified the type of data that would answer emerging questions and the feasibility around gathering that data.

Diagram depicting the characteristics of an infectious disease outbreak

A diagram depicting the characteristics of an infectious disease outbreak produced during a conversation with an infectious disease clinician.

I took the dashboard through several quick iterations refining the information architecture and presentation to be in line with the stakeholders’ model of an emerging disease event. With each iteration, I identified important data to highlight and methods to best visualize that data. The following themes emerged:

There's a disconnect between the perceived risk and the likely risk of emerging infectious disease events

With outbreaks such as Zika virus epidemic in 2016 a lot of media hype is created and it's hard to discern what the actual risk and impact could be. What's the public sentiment about a disease event? Are there opportunities for new insurance plans? Bringing this information up to the surface will help insurance industry professionals quickly focus in on an event of concern.

There's a lack of systematic and evidence-based data to answer important questions about the implications of an infectious disease event

Does a disease show an increase in cases compared to the baseline? Has a disease been shown to effect a new population group? It's not only important to show what's new but also how significant of a change it is.

There are many caveats to interpreting infectious disease data

Countries that lack sufficient healthcare infrastructure may not have the resources to accurate report emerging outbreaks. Mortality rates are often overestimated at the beginning of an outbreak. These are some of the things that require an expert's critical lens to decipher. In addition to presenting the hard facts, expert notes are key to helping a non-infectious disease expert understand the data.

Concept Designs

Home page of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard

The home page compares active infectious diseases on a matrix of perceived risk vs. likely impact to allow potential risks to be identified at a glance. Under each disease card, new events of concern are highlighted.

Disease Overview screen of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard

This disease overview screen allows for a drill-down into all the disease attributes where there’s data available. Data is systematically structured for comprehensive comparison between diseases.

Spreadability section of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard

Translocation section of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard

Where relevant, expert notes are provided to give guidance on how to interpret the data. This is especially important with emerging disease events where data quality may be spotty.

Media Attention section of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard


The original Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard use-case was broadened to better align with BlueDot’s product strategy. Working within the current data feasibility, I scaled down the design to be implemented as a proof of concept. This version was tested out internally with the BlueDot team and proved successful in contextualizing emerging infectious disease events during our weekly update meetings.

Proof of Concept of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Dashboard