Indiana coalition strengthens fight against bioterrorism

Indiana coalition strengthens fight against bioterrorism

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GIS software developer Plexis Group, L.L.C. joins the collaborative coalition behind BIOSENTINEL, an interactive web service that provides healthcare professionals and emergency management personnel with active biosurveillance and proactive early warning of possible bio-events ranging from common flu outbreaks to the covert terrorist release of a pathogenic agent. BIOSENTINEL is currently available for deployment throughout Indiana as well as neighboring states.

BIOSENTINEL was collaboratively developed in the public interest by a coalition of non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, educational institutions and commercial retailers. BioSentinel is to health care providers, public health personnel and first responders what the Doppler radar is to meteorologists. The expansion of BioSentinel’s GIS functionality enhances the ability to identify and localize, in real-time, unusual incidences of public illness, thereby leading to more rapid intervention and identification.

The benefits of GIS technology are being utilized more and more for scenarios just like this. The new GIS functionality embodied in version 4.0, expands the capabilities of BioSentinel to more easily share data with other federal, state and local public health, law enforcement and homeland security systems. Many municipalities, both large and small, are already accustomed to working with GIS data; it’s technology they already know and understand. Detecting potential bio-events several days or even weeks before traditional surveillance methods alone, BioSentinel aids in the saving of lives by providing ongoing monitoring, proactive and geographically pinpointed early warning, and intervention response coordination. BioSentinel’s proactive biosurveillance platform and associated products integrate information from traditional sources such as Emergency Department and Physician reporting as well as from non-traditional sources such as retail OTC medication data, school absenteeism, 911 operations and animal surveillance to form a detailed, real-time syndromic picture of public health.