HealthMap is an established global leader in utilizing both formal and informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and emerging public health threats surveillance.
Data is automatically aggregated from over 200,000 online sources including news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions, validated official reports, and social media. Via natural language processing and proprietary algorithms, alerts are tagged, filtered, analyzed, and visualized by machine and public health experts.
Operating since 2006 with data dating back in 1994, HealthMap has garnered a number of national awards and has strong government sponsorship with unique, strategic collaborations including the FDA, USAID, DoD, HHS, CDC and WHO. HealthMap also licenses data to top pharmaceutical, life science and global risk companies. Clients have the ability to focus on particular diseases, trends, sources, or regions to derive data of interest, and tailored dashboards can be created to visualize and interact with the custom data.
The largest recorded outbreak of Ebola as of November 2014, having emerged in West Africa and spread to Europe and North America, infected more than 13,000 and killed close to 5,000.
HealthMap picked up the earliest public signals of initial outbreak in Guinea dating back to March 2014. The efforts include analyses of cases and mortality data along with information on social disruption and control strategies. Within 6 months of the outbreak more than 13,000 alerts were aggregated, classified, and visualized. An interactive online tool was created to track and visualize the disease’s spread temporally and geographically.
Further, HealthMap visualized the projected spread of the disease and high-risk areas of transmission. HealthMap’s Ebola data supported outbreak surveillance by the CDC, DHS, HHS, and WHO. In the months following the outbreak, HealthMap was featured in various news sources including TIME, Newsweek, and Associated Press, highlighting the value of digital disease detection.
Antibiotic Resistance Intelligence
For pharmaceutical clients, Epidemico offers a custom HealthMap solution to monitor antibiotic resistance. This data feed is used to assess and predict disease spread as well as support more effective clinical trial design and enrollment. The platform was developed by adjusting the HealthMap taxonomy to antibiotic resistance-specific terminology as specified by clients. Additional sources were added to provide more focused coverage of this topic. A complementary visualization dashboard was developed to report key metrics and intelligence, including trends by location and spreading patterns.
As a targeted ‘deep-dive’, Epidemico created a dengue surveillance platform. Data was collected from high-value Ministries of Health in key, high-burden countries as well as traditional sources with global coverage. By tailoring HealthMap technology specifically to dengue, this project focuses on endemic countries, classifies the disease in more detail, and focuses on data sources that are most pertinent to the disease of interest.
Geospatial Utilities and Models for Biosurveillance Operations
GUMBO addresses globalization and ecological pressures increasing the risk of biological incidents of national signifance. Our objective is to bring state-of-the-art, web-based information integration and geoinformatics capabilities to the biosurveillance community to support the analyis of infectious disease threats in the context of climatological, demographic, ecological, and other geospatial data. The primary goal of GUMBO is to enable analysts and policy makers to make informed decisions earlier by delivering an open-source geovisualization toolkit that will provide rapid access to data from multiple sources, geoinformatics analytic capabilities, and integration with existing tools and models for the biosurveillance community.
We developed BioSense, a nationwide, cross-jurisdictional surveillance system, with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow data sharing of health-related threats ranging from political national conventions to the Super Bowl in real-time. These data are used to monitor epidemic, bioterror events, and other outbreaks across state borders, and are shared in real-time due to reformatted protocols and sharing paradigms created for information sharing conditions, highlighting our ability to work with emergency data and meaningful use with the CDC. With BioSense, we could provide nationwide and regional awareness for all-hazard threats beyond bioterrorism, and to support national, state, and local responses to those threats as well as integate local and state-level data into a cohesive picture. BioSense offers utility for state and local stakeholders, providing multipurpose value for a regional (i.e. multistate) and national view of multiple health outcomes.
Vaccine Sentimeter: Global Monitoring of Vaccine Conversations
Vaccine Sentimeter is a re-designed version of HealthMap specifically targeted towards real-time surveillance of vaccine sentiment. It monitors vaccination conversations in mainstream and social media and provides visualization in a web-based dashboard that displays volume of the conversation and the channels, sentiments, influencers, and networks. Vaccine Sentimeter pulls intelligence from social media, news aggregators, blogs, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports. It achieves a unified and comprehensive view of the current global conversation on vaccination, enabling vaccine manufacturers and public health practitioners to listen, understand and engage with the public to build and sustain confidence in vaccination.