Subject: Computer Basics
Epi Info is public domain statistical software for epidemiology developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia (USA).
Epi Info has been in existence for over 20 years and is currently available for Microsoft Windows. The program allows for electronic survey creation, data entry, and analysis. The software is in the public domain, free, and can be downloaded from http://www.cdc.gov/epiinfo. Limited support is available.
An analysis conducted in 2003 documented over 1,000,000 downloads of Epi Info from 180 countries.
Epi Info has been in development for over 20 years. The first version, Epi Info 1, was originally implemented by Jeff Dean (computer scientist) as an unpaid intern in high school. It was an MS-DOS batch file on 5.25" floppy disks and released in 1985. MS-DOS continued to be the only supported operating system until the release of Epi Info 2000, which was written in Microsoft's Visual Basic and became the first Windows-compatible version. The last MS-DOS version was Epi Info 6.04d released in January 2001.
Epi Info 2000 changed the way data was stored by adopting the Microsoft Access database format, rather than continuing to use the plain-text file format from the MS-DOS versions.
From a user's perspective, the most important functions of Epi Info are the ability to rapidly develop a questionnaire, customize the data entry process, quickly enter data into that questionnaire, and then analyze the data. For epidemiological uses, such as outbreak investigations, being able to rapidly create an electronic data entry screen and then do immediate analysis on the collected data can save considerable amounts of time versus using paper surveys.
Epi Info uses three distinct modules to accomplish these tasks: Form Designer, Enter, and Analysis. Other modules include the Dashboard module, a mapping module, and various utilities such as StatCalc.
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