Looking for Anthrax: Feasibility Study of Free Text Analytics for Emergency Department Syndromic Surveillance

The primary objective of this study is to assess the capability of an advanced text analytics tool that uses natural language processing techniques to extract important medical information collected as part of routine emergency room care (history, symptoms, vital signs, test results, initial diagnosis, etc.). This information will be automatically, accurately, and efficiently converted from unstructured text into use-able information, which can then be used to identify cases that are the result of a naturally occurring outbreak or bioterrorism event.

July 30, 2018

What Is the True Shape of a Disease Cluster? The Multi-Objective Genetic Scan

Irregularly shaped spatial disease clusters occur commonly in epidemiological studies, but their geographic delineation is poorly defined. Most current spatial scan software usually displays only one of the many possible cluster solutions with different shapes, from the most compact round cluster to the most irregularly shaped one, corresponding to varying degrees of penalization parameters imposed to the freedom of shape.

July 30, 2018

Inferring Outbreak Characteristics from a Short Observation Period of Symptomatic Patients

The aerosol release of a pathogen during a bioterrorist incident may not always be caught on environmental sensors - it may be too small, may consist of a preparation that is coarse and heavy (and consequently precipitates quickly) or may simply have occurred in an uninstrumented location. In such a case, the first intimation of an event is the first definitive diagnosis of a patient. Being able to infer the size of the attack, its time, and the dose received has important ramifications for planning a response.

March 26, 2019


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