Bradley CA, Rolka H, Walker D, Loonsk J
BioSense: Implementation of a national early event detection and situational awareness system
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
BioSense is a CDC initiative to support enhanced early detection, quantification, and localization of possible biologic terrorism attacks and other events of public health concern on a national level. The goals of the BioSense initiative are to advance early detection by providing the standards, infrastructure, and data acquisition for near real-time reporting, analytic evaluation and implementation, and early event detection support for state and local public health officials. BioSense collects and analyzes Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs ambulatory clinical diagnoses and procedures and Laboratory Corporation of America laboratory-test orders. The application summarizes and presents analytical results and data visualizations by source, day, and syndrome for each ZIP code, state, and metropolitan area through maps, graphs, and tables. An initial proof of a concept evaluation project was conducted before the system was made available to state and local users in April 2004. User recruitment involved identifying and training BioSense administrators and users from state and local health departments. User support has been an essential component of the implementation and enhancement process. CDC initiated the BioIntelligence Center (BIC) in June 2004 to conduct internal monitoring of BioSense national data daily. BIC staff have supported state and local system monitoring, conducted data anomaly inquiries, and communicated with state and local public health officials. Substantial investments will be made in providing regional, state, and local data for early event detection and situational awareness, test beds for data and algorithm evaluation, detection algorithm development, and data management technologies, while maintaining the focus on state and local public health needs.