Selecting Essential Information for Biosurveillance

Monday, 17 February 2014
Grand Ballroom F (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Alina Deshpande , Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos , NM
Living in a closely connected and highly mobile world presents many new mechanisms for rapid disease spread and in recent years, global disease surveillance has become a high priority. The National Strategy for Biosurveillance defines biosurveillance as “the process of gathering, integrating, interpreting, and communicating essential information related to all-hazards threats or disease activity affecting human, animal, or plant health to achieve early detection and warning, contribute to overall situational awareness of the health aspects of an incident, and to enable better decision-making at all levels.” However, the strategy does not specify how “essential information” is to be identified and integrated into the current biosurveillance enterprise, or what metrics qualify information as being “essential”. The question of data stream identification and selection requires structured methods that can systematically evaluate the tradeoffs between the many criteria that need to be taken in account. LANL has developed a formalized decision support analytic framework that can facilitate identification of “essential information” for use in biosurveillance systems or processes and we offer this framework to the global BSV community as a tool for optimizing the BSV enterprise.  An overview of our framework and associated evaluation methods will be presented, together with results of data stream evaluation, which facilitates the identification of a defensible set of options for decision makers to use to prepare for and mitigate the spread of disease.