HealthMap at Boston Children's Hospital and Skoll Global Threats Fund are proud to present the Second International Digital Disease Detection Conference.
Over the past fifteen years, Internet technology has significantly changed the landscape of public health surveillance and epidemic intelligence gathering. Disease and outbreak data is disseminated not only through formal online announcements by government agencies, but also through informal channels such as social networking sites, blogs, chat rooms, Web searches, local news media and crowdsourcing platforms.
Pandemics and emerging diseases may occur at any time, with the capacity to cause catastrophic morbidity, mortality and economic hardship. Rapidly recognizing and responding to these pandemics and emerging diseases are global health priorities.
Informal data streams have been credited with decreasing the time between an outbreak and formal recognition of an outbreak, allowing for an expedited response to the public health threat. Collectively, these online sources create an image of global public health that is fundamentally different from the one produced by traditional public health surveillance infrastructure. As these sources become more widely used and relied upon, it is imperative that health professionals collaborate to demonstrate and improve the effectiveness of these sources. We must identify strengths and weaknesses that can be capitalized upon and remedied.
The intention of the Second International Digital Disease Detection Conference is to connect innovators in health and technology to 1) continue to define this emerging field; 2) explore novel data streams and new technologies; 3) host workshops to identify and discuss strengths and weaknesses in surveillance methods, and to promote critique and development of already existing surveillance and diagnostic tools.