Ellipse-Based Clustering Analysis Using a Time Series Algorithm

Many cities in the US and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have deployed biosurveillance systems to monitor regional health status. Biosurveillance systems rely on algorithms that analyze data in temporal domain (e.g., CuSUM) and/or spatial domain (e.g., SaTScan). Spatial domain-based algorithms often require population information to normalize the counts (e.g., emergency department visits) within a geographic region.

July 30, 2018

Spatial Analysis of an Outbreak of Q Fever

As part of the epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of Q fever in a factory in Scotland, we aimed to utilise a spatial scan statistic to aid in identification of areas associated with increased relative risk of infection.

March 26, 2019

Privacy Protection versus Cluster Detection in Spatial Epidemiology

With the widespread deployment of near real time population health monitoring, there is increasing focus on spatial cluster detection for identifying disease outbreaks. These spatial epidemiologic methods rely on knowledge of patient location to detect unusual clusters. In hospital administrative data, patient location is collected as home address but use of this precise location raises privacy concerns. Regional locations, such as center points of zip codes, have been deployed in many existing systems.

July 30, 2018

A Robust Expectation-Based Spatial Scan Statistic

This paper describes a new expectation-based scan statistic that is robust to outliers (individual anomalies at the store level that are not indicative of outbreaks). We apply this method to prospective monitoring of over-the-counter (OTC) drug sales data, and demonstrate that the robust statistic improves timeliness and specificity of outbreak detection.

July 30, 2018

Detecting Outbreaks and Other Clusters in Reportable Disease Data

Outbreaks of infectious diseases are identified in a variety of ways by clinicians and public health practitioners but not usually by analytic methods typically employed in syndromic surveillance. Systematic spatial-temporal analysis of statewide data may enable earlier detection of outbreaks and identification of multi-jurisdictional outbreaks.



July 30, 2018

Early Detection of Tuberculosis Outbreaks among the San Francisco Homeless

San Francisco has the highest rate of TB in the US. Although in recent years the incidence of TB has been declining in the San Francisco general population, it has remained relatively constant in the homeless population. Spatial investigations of disease outbreaks seek to identify and determine the significance of spatially localized disease clusters by partitioning the underlying geographic region.

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

Cluster Detection Incorporating Lagged Test Data

Using New York Cityís dead bird surveillance for West Nile Virus (WNV), this paper presents two explorations of the spatial cluster detection problem in which lagged test results are available for a random subset of observations. First, we establish a framework for the direct evaluation of methods and identify the optimal parameterization over a large family of models. We then investigate ways in which the lagged test results and other covariates might be used prospectively to extend the family of models by refining the baseline.

July 30, 2018

Semantic Approach to Text Understanding of Chief Complaints Data

Chief complaints are often represented textually and as a mixture of complex and context-dependant lexical symbols with little formal sentence structure. Although human experts usually comprehend this information in its right context intuitively and effortlessly, use of chief complaint data by computers is a challenge. Semantic approaches for text understanding are concerned with the meaning of terms and their relationships, driven from an explicit model rather than their syntactic forms.

July 30, 2018

A Novel, Context-Sensitive Approach to Anonymizing Spatial Surveillance Data: Impact on Outbreak Detection

The use of spatially-based methods and algorithms in epidemiology and surveillance presents privacy challenges for researchers and public health agencies. We describe a novel method for anonymizing individuals in public health datasets, by transposing their spatial locations through a process informed by the underlying population density. Further, we measure the impact of blurring patient locations on detection of spatial clustering as measured by the SaTScan purely-spatial Bernoulli scanning statistic.

July 30, 2018


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