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Enhancing disease surveillance with novel data streams: challenges and opportunities

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Benjamin M. Althouse
  • Samuel V. Scarpino
  • Lauren Ancel Meyers
  • John W. Ayers
  • Marisa Bargsten
  • Joan Baumbach
  • John S. Brownstein
  • Lauren Castro
  • Hannah Clapham
  • Derek A T Cummings
  • Sara Del Valle
  • Stephen Eubank
  • Geoffrey Fairchild
  • Lyn Finelli
  • Nicholas Generous
  • Dylan George
  • David R. Harper
  • Laurent Hébert-Dufresne
  • Michael A. Johansson
  • Kevin Konty
  • Marc Lipsitch
  • Gabriel Milinovich
  • Joseph D. Miller
  • Elaine O. Nsoesie
  • Donald R. Olson
  • Michael Paul
  • Philip M. Polgreen
  • Reid Priedhorsky
  • Isabel Rodríguez-Barraquer
  • Derek J. Smith
  • Christian Stefansen
  • David L. Swerdlow
  • Deborah Thompson
  • Alessandro Vespignani
  • Amy Wesolowski
Article number17
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/12/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>EPJ Data Science
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1-8
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/10/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Novel data streams (NDS), such as web search data or social media updates, hold promise for enhancing the capabilities of public health surveillance. In this paper, we outline a conceptual framework for integrating NDS into current public health surveillance. Our approach focuses on two key questions: What are the opportunities for using NDS and what are the minimal tests of validity and utility that must be applied when using NDS? Identifying these opportunities will necessitate the involvement of public health authorities and an appreciation of the diversity of objectives and scales across agencies at different levels (local, state, national, international). We present the case that clearly articulating surveillance objectives and systematically evaluating NDS and comparing the performance of NDS to existing surveillance data and alternative NDS data is critical and has not sufficiently been addressed in many applications of NDS currently in the literature.