Report on ECDC/JRC collaboration on development of online tool for epidemic intelligenceArchived
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), issued a report about the ECDC/JRC collaboration on the improvement of MedISys, a web-based tool for epidemic intelligence activities.
MedISys is an automatic real-time media monitoring and threat detection system developed by JRC. Collection and analysis of information from non-healthcare sources, such as online news sites, is one of the methods for identification of public health threats. The monitoring of online information sources can contribute to the timely detection of potential health threats, which is essential for ensuring efficient response. ECDC uses MedISys among other online monitoring tools for epidemic intelligence purposes and has decided to further explore its potential as an early warning tool at EU level. ECDC and JRC have been working together to analyse the functionalities of the existing system, focusing on improving the usability of the web interface, revising the sources and reducing the number of irrelevant articles. ECDC asked public health experts at national level to contribute to the MedISys analysis. The analysis concluded that additional user feedback is crucial in developing event-based surveillance systems such as MedISys. ECDC, in collaboration with JRC, is setting up customised country versions of MedISys and will encourage the use of the system at national level. ECDC will also increase the number of infectious diseases alerts and cover more EU languages. The report was presented during the last meeting of the Competent Bodies for Threat Detection of the EU Member States, held in Stockholm on the 17-18 February; the possible use of the tool at national level was discussed. ECDC has started collaborations on other online tools for epidemic intelligence, i.e. Biocaster, GPHIN, HealthMap, ProMED and PULS.