Monday, June 9, 2008

Updates on ESP

I updated the charter for the Leveraging Grid to Enhance Biosurveillance Capacity PoC project to include goals and requirements including the Harvard Center of Excellence Electronic Support for Public Health (ESP) syndromic surveillance module. The charters are under review now but I will update the site with them once they get out of draft stage.

Regarding the ESP project, Ken and I had a call with Dr. Ross Lazarus about two weeks ago (blogged about previously). During this meeting Ross mentioned that he is looking to design: 1) the syndrome definitions used, 2) the data field format for the generated reports and 3) the means of data transport.

We've been exchanging emails regarding item #1 and now have a description of the syndrome definitions that ESP has used for 12 syndromes for the past 18 months+. I've sent the definitions on to Dr. Tokars in the Biosurveillance activity at the CDC for review. Based on the comments this should move us forward to determining which set of syndrome definitions that ESP can use for reporting syndromes.

Related to this is the BioPortal, a repository of open medical ontologies. Dr. Espino mentioned this as an example of ontology repositories. One of the approaches to multiple syndrome definitions is to tag syndromic surveillance data with a pointer to the syndrome definitions that were used in prearing the data. For technologists out there, this is very similar to XML Schema and Namespaces.

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