CDC, Johns Hopkins APL Partner to Implement Analytics-Driven Biosurveillance Tech

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collaborated with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to deploy a data analytics platform meant to support population-based biosurveillance activities, Nextgov reported Monday.

CDC and APL will use the latter’s Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics, or ESSENCE, tool to visualize information on disease spread across the U.S. as part of the National Syndromic Surveillance Program.

Epidemiologists will leverage ESSENCE datasets to collect information such as death records, school absences, emergency room appointments and poison control alerts from hospitals and entities like the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

ESSENCE will additionally serve as the primary supporting tool for CDC’s BioSense analytics platform, the agreement states.

Sheri Lewis, manager of the health protection and assurance division at APL, told the publication that ESSENCE is a data-agnostic tool intended to “ process any data that contains a date and something you want to count.”

CDC is also looking to integrate cloud services with ESSENCE as part of the joint effort with APL, according to the report.

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