1000 phones for aid workers fighting Ebola!

Over the past few weeks we've been left humbled with messages, donations and support from people around the world. Everyone from individuals to Fortune 500 companies have made donations, totaling more than $500 000. Over the next few weeks we'll be deploying more than 1000 Android phones to aid organizations fighting Ebola.

Project outcomes

The Ebola Care app helps aid organizations

Aid organizations fighting Ebola desperately need faster access to data from the field. We built the Ebola Care app for their health workers to help coordinate efforts and collect data.

Sam Herring - More Than Me

Sam Herring is using the app to manage Ebola efforts in Liberia

Medical information is collected by health workers using Android phones, and the data is immediately available online for decision makers. Results from the two pilots being run in Liberia have been extremely positive, and we are now in the process of deploying more than 1000 phones to aid organizations in West Africa.

“Real-­time data provided by the Ebola Care App has improved our ability to communicate the needs of a particular area, as well as what we need as an organization to respond to that need.” - Sam Herring, More Than Me

The challenges facing organizations fighting Ebola

Field data plays a vital role

We started our journey with Ebola by having talking with aid organizations fighting Ebola. That’s how we met Sam Herring, who heads up data management for More Than Me.

Ebola Treatment Unit

Aid organizations need data to make decisions

Between conversations with Sam and other aid workers we learned that they were relying on data collected in the field. The data tells them what's working, where they need to direct their efforts and helps them learn from their mistakes. The data is also shared with larger organizations like WHO, who are using information from hundreds of aid organizations to make big strategic decisions.

Data collected on paper forms takes days, or sometimes weeks to become available. My biggest priority is getting data from the field faster” - Sam Herring, More Than Me

Ebola data collection is too slow

Currently aid workers are using paper forms to collect the data. Various forms are used by teams doing contact tracing, visiting quarantined houses, educational events and building case files for children orphaned as a result of Ebola.

Live data from NGO staff

It can take days or weeks for data to become available.

The problem is that these forms need to physically make their way back to a facility where the forms can be typed into a computer system. It can take days or weeks for the information to become accessible, which means decision makers are always playing catchup to Ebola.

Live data from NGO staff

Sam says that he uses PPE gloves when handling paper forms

There are other challenges too. The collected data is sometimes inaccurate - especially the location data. When processes or forms are updated, which happens frequently, there are massive delays in getting updated forms out to remote teams.

Ebola Care App

Ebola Care Screenshots

The Ebola Care app gives organizations real-time access to data

The Ebola Care app was built for aid organizations fighting Ebola. The app replaces paper forms, and gives decision makers real­time access to data from the field.

Ebola Care helps Ebola organizations with several core functions:

Ebola Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing

Finding everyone who came in direct contact with a sick Ebola patient.

Ebola UAC/SC Form

Tracking orphans

Care for children abandoned due to parents contracting Ebola.

Ebola Education

Ebola Education

Coordinate and track Ebola education events in communities.

Ebola Ambulance Form

Ambulance pickups

Patient data collection by ambulance teams.

Ebola HOPE 21


Observe and evaluate children under quarantine

Developed in partnership with aid organizations

In developing Ebola Care, we worked hand-in-hand with aid organizations on the front lines in West Africa. During the pilot phase we've released constant updates to the app based on feedback from the aid workers, and we will continue this iterative approach as we scale.

A good example of this is the Ebola Care Contact Tracing module. We realised that aid workers have a burning need for a simpler way to collect the dozens or something hundreds of names for the contact tracing process. We worked with Sam Herring until we had a process that he describes as "the best contact tracing method".

Ebola Care App Contact Tracing

The Ebola Care app makes contact tracing easy

Functions without network connectivity

The application continues functioning without cellular reception. Data is cached on the phone and is automatically uploaded when network connectivity is regained. This allows the app to be used in the most rural locations.

EbolaCare app syncing data

The app is fully functional without network connectivity


Ebola Care runs on Android and iOS, both tablets and phones. As you can imagine, being able to use cheaper devices means we can give phones to more aid workers. So we've optimised Ebola Care to run on even low-cost Android devices.


The Ebola Care app back-end includes cloud data storage and industry standard REST API’s to allow integration with existing and future medical information systems. The app also integrates with existing basic data management tools like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets that aid organizations are using today.

Real-time access to data

Data is captured by health workers and automatically uploaded to a cloud system that can be accessed by decision makers at Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) and aid organizations.

Live data from NGO staff

Data captured on the app is immediately available in reporting systems.

Fast field upgradeable

The application itself can be quickly updated remotely, without intervention required from the health workers. This capability has already allowed us to make improvements and incorporate new guidance from the Liberian Ministry of Health that could be deployed in the field within minutes.


The team behind the Ebola Care project is from a mix of non-profit and for-profit backgrounds, and team members have experience across diverse domains including mHealth, enterprise software, inclusive banking and medicine.


Our team is spread between Washington, Silicon Valley and South Africa. With the help of different time zones we are literally working 24/7 on this project. To reach us send an email to ebola@journeyapps.com.


We've been fortunate enough to have received a massive amount of help and advice from some extraordinary people.


Organizations from across the world are working with us, and their ongoing support has allowed us to move very fast - within a week we had designed, built and deployed the first version of the Ebola Care app in Liberia. This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible efforts of organizations like GlobalGiving, More Than Me and Imani House. They are doing amazing work and putting their lives on the line to fight this terrible outbreak.

Ebola Care was built on the Journey Platform, which allows rapid development of these kinds of apps.