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.
2014 Ebola Outbreaks
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.
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Using crowdsourcing for public health surveillance, the StreetRx program gathers user-submitted information, capturing the street price of prescription and illicit drugs. StreetRx is a collection of databases, websites, and citizen reports enabling real-time collection, organization, and display of street price data on diverted pharmaceutical controlled substances. Based on principles of crowdsourcing for public health surveillance, the site allows users to anonymously submit prices they paid or heard were paid for diverted prescription drugs. Visitors can anonymously view, post, and rate submissions offering price transparency to an otherwise opaque black market, while providing a novel data set for public health surveillance.
StreetRx has been launched in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
StreetRx is a collaboration between Epidemico and the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System, a prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion surveillance system that collects timely product-and geographically-specific data.
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