A New Age of Biosurveillance Is Upon Us

Gregory Goth | Government Health IT | September 28, 2011

The CDC will overhaul BioSense in November, amid a wave of new data-sharing tactics rolling in from other fields that promises to bolster surveillance methods and architectures.

Krista Hanni doesn't consider herself an expert on the latest developments in IT-enabled syndromic and biosurveillance, but she does recognize that a groundswell of change is about to hit the discipline. “We're at the beginning of a new field here,” said Hanni, the surveillance and preparedness manager for the Monterey County, Calif., Public Health Department. “That’s what we’re running into.”

The traditional epidemiological approach, which helps public health officials deal in an authoritative but delayed manner with outbreaks and disease caused by calamities, is being challenged by new forms of data and new approaches using methodologies from other fields. 

Researchers and clinicians will see a huge boon in November, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s redesigned BioSense program is scheduled to go live with a new data-sharing approach in which local jurisdictions – not the CDC – maintain ownership of their data. Coincidentally or not, the new willingness to research and perhaps use new data types and methodologies will converge with meaningful use mandates set out in the HITECH funding...



Other Open Source Biosurveillance Tools

There are many other good open source or public domain Biosurveillance tools also worth checking out, e.g. RODS, Epi Info, CASE, DAWN, etc. See http://www.openhealthnews.com/resources/health-it-category/biosurveillance