11 August 2015

Optimizing Infectious Disease Surveillance

On Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 2:00pm – 3:00pm Eastern Time, CSTE will be hosting a webinar entitled “Optimizing Infectious Disease Surveillance.”

The explosion of public health data provides an opportunity for resource-constrained public health agencies to engage in cost-efficient and truly innovative disease surveillance.  However, to design robust surveillance with limited resources we propose a four-step process that systematically evaluates and integrates candidate data streams:  (1) define surveillance objectives, (2) specify candidate data sources, (3) simulate historical data where data are missing, and (4) select the most informative combination of data sources.  This methodology determines system right-size by quantifying the performance of data sources in terms of the specified surveillance objectives and prioritizes them for incorporation into surveillance systems.  In this webinar, I will demonstrate the flexibility and utility of this approach on a provider-based influenza surveillance network in Texas with both traditional and digital data streams across two surveillance objectives: situational awareness and early detection.

After the webinar, participants will be able to:
1.       Demonstrate how an integrative surveillance system can be used to improve situational awareness and early detection.
2.       Assess the performance of various data sources, e.g. primary healthcare providers, laboratory data, emergency department chief complaints, and Google Flu Trends, for surveillance.  
3.       Evaluate the utility of primary healthcare providers and emergency department chief complaints for predicting influenza-associated hospitalizations in at risk populations.  

The presenter is Samuel V. Scarpino, a postdoctoral fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, where he holds the prestigious Omidyar Fellowship. He completed his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of Texas at Austin, where his dissertation research focused on the design of disease surveillance networks and the integration of diverse data streams to better inform public health decision-making. Dr. Scarpino is an incoming Assistant Professor in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Vermont.  His research focuses on the evolutionary and population dynamics of infectious diseases. He applies this work to the design of both public health surveillance systems and intervention strategies.

The webinar recording and slides will be available on the CSTE website shortly after the session has concluded.

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