Wednesday, April 9, 2014

HealthMap - Worldwide Public Health Situational Awareness

With ebola now established in at least four countries on the western shore of Africa, and the CDC providing updates on a regular basis, offered for your consideration and awareness is HealthMap. As described on its website, HealthMap is:
...a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children's Hospital founded in 2006, is an established global leader in utilizing online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats. The freely available Web site '' and mobile app 'Outbreaks Near Me' deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases for a diverse audience including libraries, local health departments, governments, and international travelers. HealthMap brings together disparate data sources, including online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports, to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. Through an automated process, updating 24/7/365, the system monitors, organizes, integrates, filters, visualizes and disseminates online information about emerging diseases in nine languages, facilitating early detection of global public health threats.
To give it a whirl and learn more, please use the video and site links below:

Video Direct LinkHealthMap

Comment: HealthMap isn't perfect - but it's an important effort for at least two reasons:
1.) It's a first step toward deliver of real time understanding of the Public Health situation around the world, and
2.) To the degree that it can, it offers granularity by reporting local developments at the lowest level publicly available.
Kudos to Boston Children's Hospital and its sponsors for making this effort a reality.

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