Catching the Flu’s Data

Health Consulting

Almost a third of the US population will travel during the holidays. With flu season already in full swing, tracking flu outbreaks is vital to caregivers of small children and the elderly, in addition to those with compromised immunity. Those building health and wellness apps to support caregivers tracking medical information for their loved ones have access to multiple surveillance databases from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) that may be of interest.

CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) BioSense 2.0 Platform: Originally developed to support counter-terrorism efforts post 9/11, BioSense now collects a vast amount of information from health outbreaks to injury prevalence to drug-related overdoses.

CDC’s WONDER Program: WONDER manages almost 20 different collections of health information including data on births, deaths, cancer diagnoses, tuberculosis cases, vaccinations, environmental exposures, and population estimates.

CDC’s Prevention X Program: Prevention X is a new program in development that aims to collect information of chronic disease prevention.

In this season’s motto of giving and not just receiving, it’s important to highlight the CDC’s history of public and private partnerships build the rich data within their programs and databases. The CDC works to establish partnerships with hospitals, state entities, and private industries to gather valuable information that provides the most wholistic view of public health. CDC’s historic and ongoing partnership with Google to enhance flu outbreak data has proven successful for years. The CDC continues to seek collaboration with industry to obtain data, test the robustness of their data platforms, and develop better data standards to more efficiently “give and receive” syndromic surveillance information.

Happy Holidays and keep on sharing…data.

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