As evidenced by the anthrax attacks in 2001, the SARS outbreak in 2003, and the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, a pathogen does not recognize geographic or national boundaries, often leading to devastating consequences. Automated biosurveillance systems have emerged as key solutions for mitigating current and future health-related events. Focusing on this promising public health innovation, Biosurveillance: Methods and Case Studies discusses how these systems churn through vast amounts of health-related data to support epidemiologists and public health officials in the early identification, situation awareness, and response management of natural and man-made health-related events. The book follows a natural sequence from theory to application. The initial chapters build a foundation while subsequent chapters present more applied case studies from around the world, including China, the United States, Denmark, and the Asia-Pacific region. The contributors share candid, first-hand insights on lessons learned and unresolved issues that will help chart the future of biosurveillance.
As this book illustrates, biosurveillance operates in a complex, multidimensional problem space that incorporates varied data. Capturing the progress of modern-day pioneers who are walking in John Snow's footsteps, this volume shows how contemporary information technology can be applied to the age-old challenge of combating the spread of disease and illness.
Taha Kass-Hout has over 14 years of experience in health, public health, and informatics. He has led research and development initiatives, the critical assessment of new and emerging health IT technologies, and the development of new capabilities and solutions in health and public health for federal, state, commercial, and international health organizations. A member of several professional societies, Dr. Kass-Hout has published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at numerous national and international forums, and been an invited guest speaker at various health and policy events. He earned his M.Sc. and M.D. from the University of Texas. In addition, he has had clinical training at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Xiaohui Zhang is the president of International Public Health Institute, a nonprofit organization. For over 20 years, Dr. Zhang has led the scientific effort in the development of infectious disease surveillance systems, disease outbreak early detection and early warning systems, public health emergency preparedness and response systems, and information systems for comprehensive health care management. He has authored more than 40 publications in information technology, disease surveillance, decision making support, operational research, environmental modeling, artificial intelligence, simulation, and electrical engineering.