Sunday, October 30, 2011

BioSense 2.0 Coming Soon

The CDC BioSense program tracks health problems as they evolve and provides public health officials with data, information, and the tools needed to better respond to potential bioterrorism-related illnesses. The CDC BioSense Program launched in 2003 was to establish an integrated national public health surveillance system to provide nationwide and regional situational awareness for all-hazard health related threats that go beyond bioterrorism.

In 2010, RTI was awarded a $16.3 million contract to redesign the BioSense program under CDC’s Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services. In the first year, the team developed a BioSense Redesign website at and held a number of stakeholder input sessions, webinars, focused groups, and one-on-one interviews.

The Redesigned BioSense or BioSense 2.0 will be governed by ASTHO, in coordination with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the International Society for Disease Surveillance.

Key components of the BioSense 2.0 will:

• Strengthen the health monitoring infrastructure and workforce capacity where needed at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels

• Coordinate responses and be able to monitor health-related outcomes routinely and during an event

• Build on existing state and local health department systems and programs to maintain the original purpose of BioSense to detect and characterize events

• Expand BioSense data usage beyond early event detection and provide public health awareness, improve outcomes, and increase local and state participation in BioSense

• Expand the utility of BioSense data to multi-use and all-hazard detection

• Improve the ability to detect emergency health-related threats by supporting systems capable of providing alerts

The new BioSense system will take advantage of novel and proven data storage and processing technology to allow users to control their data and will encourage collaboration in a social network-style environment.

CDC will still continue to examine the stakeholder requirements and perform a needs assessment, determine limitations of participating sites, assess Meaningful Use readiness, and work collaboratively with external partners on how to best meet the needs of state and local health departments.

Go to to view the draft BioSense Strategic Plan available for comments until November 4, 2011. For more information, contact Taha A. Kass-Hout, MD at

Be sure to attend the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics session on Wednesday November 16th from 12:00 to 1:45 to hear officials from CDC discuss progress on the BioSense program plus other panelists will discuss how biosurveillance technologies can improve public health. Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA) will kick off the program. To receive an announcement, email Neal Neuberger at or call (703) 508-8182.