UK Health Protection Agency Unveils Upgraded Syndromic Surveillance System for Olympic Games

Just in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games, The UK Health Protection Agency has made upgrades to its syndromic surveillance system—including a new emergency department system and an urgent care system.

Events that bring together hundreds of thousands of fans from countries all around the world have the potential to harbor a disease outbreak. Real time syndromic surveillance makes it possible to track and respond to such an outbreak.

As many of you know, RODS, a software and a research lab at the University of Pittsburgh, provided the first demonstration of syndromic surveillance at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. At the time, one of the biggest fears in the wake of September 11, 2001 was a bioterrorism attack. Over 114,000 acute care visits were monitored in Salt Lake City during the time of (and shortly after) the Olympic games. Thankfully, no outbreaks of significance were detected, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

HMS routinely works with clients to monitor special events. The control and flexibility of EpiCenter combined with the responsiveness of our client services team, gives public health departments the opportunity to monitor everything form international conferences and festivals to natural disasters. This enables our clients to monitor potential outbreaks and analyze resulting data to develop strategies that improve public health.