25 January 2011

Triple S Project: Syndromic Surveillance Survey and Assessment towards Guidelines for Europe

The International Society for Disease Surveillance is pleased to announce its role as an advisory member of the Triple-S Project in Europe.  Former Board Director Duncan Cooper will be serving as ISDS' liaison throughout the project, and will continue to provide updates as they become available. 

Below is the project's first press release:
Triple S (Syndromic Surveillance Survey and Assessment towards Guidelines for Europe) is a European project to develop guidelines to strengthen public health surveillance and rapid response to prevent and assess health threat impact has been announced. This work covers health threat or impact from both infectious and environmental hazards. The programme, co-financed by the European commission, involves twenty four organisations from fourteen countries. It aims to produce a handbook for member states to allow future early warning systems to be developed and assessed.

The Public Health Action Programme Triple S (Syndromic Surveillance Survey, Assessment towards Guidelines for Europe, grant agreement GA 2009.11.12) will review and analyse European syndromic surveillance systems. The program is co-financed by the European commission through the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers. It encompasses an inventory of existing and proposed syndromic surveillance systems, including country visits for an in-depth understanding of selected systems. The project will also provide scientific and technical guidance for the development and implementation of syndromic surveillance systems for both human and animal health, according to the needs and expectations of the member states. The aim of the Triple S project is to increase the European capacity for real-time or near-real time surveillance and monitoring of the health burden of expected and unexpected health related events.

The first meeting for this three-year project, coordinated by the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS), was held in Luxembourg from November 22nd to 25th, 2010. The Health and Consumer Directorate General of the European Commission (DG Sanco), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the World Health Organization Europe (WHO/Europe) and the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) are members of the advisory board, to ensure good exchange of practices and expertise at both the European and the global level.

For further information please contact Duncan Cooper.

18 January 2011

Public Health Informatics Distance Learning Course Offered by AMIA

The International Society for Disease Surveillance has received a message from our colleagues at AMIA regarding a distance learning opportunity:

"AMIA, the center of action for more than 4,000 informatics professionals and experts, is offering a 16-week, distance-learning, introductory course on Public Health Informatics (PHI), starting on January 28, 2011. The course is taught by Catherine Staes, BSN, MPH, PhD, University of Utah.  The course, for which up to 50 Continuing Education credits are available, aims to impart the following learning objectives:
  • Fundamental informatics principles and their application to public health;
  • Current and evolving public health surveillance systems and performing basic system analysis;
  • Mission and practice of public health and identifying opportunities to advance public health using informatics methods and tools;
  • Standards relevant to public health and creating design artifacts to enable system interoperability"
Please see the course website for further details on on learning objectives and course content. 

January Literature Review: Spatial Scanning Tips and Tricks for Practical Outbreak Detection

Date:  January 27th, 2011; 12:00-1:30 pm EST

For its January 2011 Literature Review, the ISDS Research Committee is pleased to present Daniel Neill, PhD, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University, who will be speaking about his recent publication, "An empirical comparison of spatial scan statistics for outbreak detection" in the International Journal of Health Geographics

After conducting the regularly scheduled review of articles during the first 30 minutes of the call, Dr. Neill's talk will begin promptly at 12:30 pm EST.  

Register for the webinar

04 January 2011

Call for Papers: Geospatial Applications in Disease Surveillance

The International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research (IJAGR) is now accepting submissions for a special issue on 'Geospatial Applications in Disease Surveillance.'  ISDS member Amy J. Blatt, PhD, GISP, is a guest editor of this publication. 

The following information is from the official Call for Papers:


Guest Editor: Amy J. Blatt, Ph.D., GISP

GIS is an excellent visualization tool for analyzing epidemiological data, revealing trends,
and identifying dependencies and inter-relationships. GIS serves as an ideal platform for the convergence of multi-disease surveillance activities. Public health resources, specific diseases and other health events can be mapped in relation to their surrounding environment and existing health and social infrastructures. Such information creates a powerful tool for monitoring and management of epidemics.


The purpose of this special issue is to gather current and up-to-date research from scientists and policy makers working in the area of disease surveillance to better understand the challenges and opportunities of real-time disease surveillance and visualization, and to develop integrated solutions for future approaches that are efficient, cost-effective, and fulfill the needs of both policy and science.

Topics to be discussed in this special issue include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Design of surveillance systems in developing and developed countries
  • Remote sensing applications in disease surveillance
  • Visualization and management of disease outbreaks
  • Endemic disease surveillance
  • Exotic and emerging disease surveillance
  • Data collection, transmission, and management
  • Implementation of surveillance using GIS
  • Modeling outbreaks (social network analysis, multi-agent systems)
  • Integrating different scales of surveillance
  • On-line collaborations, including Web 2.0 initiatives