Digital and the Future of Disease Surveillance
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Over the past fifteen years, Internet technology has significantly changed the landscape of public health surveillance and epidemic intelligence gathering. Disease and outbreak data is disseminated not only through formal online announcements by government agencies, but also through informal channels such as social networking sites, blogs, chat rooms, Web searches, local news media and crowdsourcing platforms. These data streams have been credited with decreasing the time between an outbreak and formal recognition of an outbreak, allowing for an expedited response to the public health threat. Collectively, these online sources create an image of global public health that is fundamentally different from the one produced by traditional public health surveillance infrastructure. Dr. Brownstein will discuss the current capabilities and future directions in the use of the nontraditional data sources for the purposes of public health surveillance and rapid detection of emerging infectious diseases.
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