2016 CDC Technology Challenge Update: NIOSH Participant Portal


Kendra Broadwater and Eric Glassford, NIOSH/Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies/Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch

NIOSH’s award-winning proposal was to develop an electronic system to deliver personal exposure and medical information to NIOSH study participants (workers) after site visits. This would serve as an alternative to NIOSH’s current way of sending results via traditional mail.

It has been a great experience! Our project is right where it needs to be because of IIU. Together, we are creating a system that will help improve the health of workers in our country.

Allison TepperBranch Chief, Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance


  • January: IIU conducted user research and completed an adaptation of Google Ventures’ Design Sprint with NIOSH to ensure the need for a technology solution.
  • February-August: The solution, the NIOSH Participant Portal, is under development.
    • IIU builds quickly and iteratively by using an Agile software development framework known as Scrum.
    • Every two weeks IIU meets with NIOSH to demonstrate the evolving product, get feedback, and ensure that decisions support the overarching project goal.
  • September: NIOSH Participant Portal goes live.

The NIOSH project remains on track and is well on its way to completion.


With a new technology solution, NIOSH can deliver digital test results rapidly and securely, and reduce the risk of lost or unintentionally exposed personally identifiable information (PII). An electronic system will also make it easier for study participants to share information with their healthcare providers. Sharing personal results (containing PII) securely is a challenge for CDC scientists. This NIOSH project could serve as a model for how CDC scientists can safely and efficiently share data.

Learn more about the 2016 CDC Technology Challenge.

2017 CDC Technology Challenge

The second annual Challenge will happen in late October. If your program has a problem in need of a technology solution, consider applying! IIU will host info sessions about the Challenge and provide more information as the date approaches.

Have questions? We have answers. Contact us at informaticslab@cdc.gov.

Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services | Office of Public Health Scientific Services |
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Department of Health and Human Services