Publicly available software tools for decision-makers during an emergent epidemic—Systematic evaluation of utility and usability

Epidemics
Volume 21, Pages 1-88 (December 2017)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/17554365

Review Articles
Publicly available software tools for decision-makers during an emergent epidemic—Systematic evaluation of utility and usability
Review Article
Pages 1-12
David James Heslop, Abrar Ahmad Chughtai, Chau Minh Bui, C. Raina MacIntyre
Abstract
Epidemics and emerging infectious diseases are becoming an increasing threat to global populations—challenging public health practitioners, decision makers and researchers to plan, prepare, identify and respond to outbreaks in near real-timeframes. The aim of this research is to evaluate the range of public domain and freely available software epidemic modelling tools. Twenty freely utilisable software tools underwent assessment of software usability, utility and key functionalities. Stochastic and agent based tools were found to be highly flexible, adaptable, had high utility and many features, but low usability. Deterministic tools were highly usable with average to good levels of utility.