Use of N-grams and Term Relationship Graphs in the Syndrome Definition Development Process

The use of syndromic surveillance systems has evolved over the last decade, and increasingly includes both infectious and non- infectious topic areas. Public health agencies at the national, state, and local levels often need to rapidly develop new syndromic categories, or improve upon existing categories, to enhance their public health surveillance efforts. Documenting this development process can help support increased understanding and user acceptance of syndromic surveillance.

June 18, 2019

Visualization the dynamic interactive maps for results of spatio-temporal scanning

Scan statistics is one of the most widely used method for detecting and locating the clusters of disease or health-related events through the space-time dimension. Although the Specific software of SatScan is available for free and easier to use graphical user interface (GUI) interface, the click way and the resulting text format have became obstacles in biosurveillance since automated or reproduction operation and the fast communicate information tool appeared.

January 25, 2018

Development of Automated Data Quality Indicators and Visualizations using Florida's ESSENCE System

Understanding your data is a fundamental pillar of disease surveillance success. With the increase in automated, electronic surveillance tools many public health users have begun to rely on those tools to produce reports that contain processed results to perform their daily jobs. These tools can focus on the algorithm or visualizations needed to produce the report, and can easily overlook the quality of the incoming data. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is often used to describe the value of reports when the incoming data is not of high quality.

March 02, 2018

An information visualization approach to improving data quality

The Public Health - Seattle & King County syndromic surveillance system has been collecting emergency department (ED) data since 1999. These data include hospital name, age, sex, zip code, chief complaint, diagnoses (when available), disposition, and a patient and visit key. Data are collected for 19 of 20 King County EDs, for visits that occurred the previous day.

May 02, 2019

Automated chronic disease surveillance and visualization using electronic health record data

Chronic diseases are the leading causes of mortality and morbidity for Americans but public health surveillance for these conditions is limited. Health departments currently use telephone interviews, medical surveys, and death certificates to gather information on chronic diseases but these sources are limited by cost, timeliness, limited clinical detail, and/or poor population coverage. Continual and automated extraction, analysis, and summarization of EHR data could advance surveillance in each of these domains.


May 02, 2019

Visualizing Data Quality: Tools and Views

Distribute is a national emergency department syndromic surveillance project developed by the International Society for Disease Surveillance for influenza-like-illness (ILI) that integrates data from existing state and local public health department surveillance systems. The Distribute project provides graphic comparisons of both ILI-related clinical visits across jurisdictions and a national picture of ILI. Unlike other surveillance systems, Distribute is designed to work solely with summarized (aggregated) data which cannot be traced back to the un-aggregated 'raw' data.

May 02, 2019

BioSINE: an intuitive visualization tool to enhance collaboration between research and practice in disease surveillance

Funded by the Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, we developed the BioSINE toolset to provide visualization and collaboration capabilities to improve the accessibility and utility of health surveillance data. Investigation of public health (PH) practitioners’ needs with cognitive engineering methods revealed two key objectives: 

1. To provide analysts and decision makers with an intuitive, visually driven workspace. 

2. To support a web presence to provide rapid updating and facilitate greater interaction with data analysis in the PH community.

June 18, 2019

Biosurveillance applications for resource-limited settings: open ESSENCE and ESSENCE desktop edition

More than a decade ago, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) developed the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (Enterprise ESSENCE), which is currently used by federal, state and local health authorities in the US.

June 18, 2019

FluView interactive: using user-centered design and usability heuristics to improve visualization of influenza information

Given the periodic nature of influenza activity, it is important to develop visualization tools that enable enhanced decision-making. User-Centered Design is a set of software development methodologies that primarily employ user needs to develop applications. Similarly, Usability Heuristics provide a set of rules that increase the performance of user interfaces, and ease of use. We combined some of these techniques to develop FluView Interactive, a prototype that will enable users to better understand influenza information.



June 26, 2019

INDICATOR: A Cyberenvironment for Biosurveillance and Response

Infectious disease outbreaks require rapid access to information to support a coordinated response from healthcare providers and public health officials. They need to know the size, spread, and location of the outbreak, and they also need access to models that will help them to determine the best strategy to contain the outbreak. 

July 30, 2018


Contact Us

NSSP Community of Practice



This website is supported by Cooperative Agreement # 6NU38OT000297-02-01 Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services through National Partnerships to Improve and Protect the Nation's Health between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC. CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on private websites.

Site created by Fusani Applications