Feeds

Web system sounds health alerts

Health authorities get warning SMS

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A new medical intelligence system has been developed to update European health authorities on public health threats.

The European Commission said it has created the web based system to provide health authorities with real time information about disease outbreaks, industrial accidents, and major incidents such as a bioterrorist attack. Its aim is to help health authorities identify incidents as early as possible and react quicker.

Called MediSys, the system constantly collects and sorts information from more than 1,000 news and 120 public health websites in 32 languages.

Traditional surveillance systems already monitor a number of trends, including death rates, the use of health services, abnormal patterns, changing laboratory characteristics, and exposure to risks from the environment, food or animals. But while certain public or animal health threats may be reported in local press or by other lesser known sources, they may go unnoticed by the wider community.

MediSys has been developed to address the shortcoming by providing health authorities with comprehensive updates on all public health threats.

Using predefined keywords and combinations, the system crawls through the web and sorts information into three primary categories: diseases, bioterrorism, and other threats. Articles or "hits" are then classified into more precise categories, such as AIDS-HIV, respiratory infections, avian flu, legionella, anthrax, or nuclear safety.

Breaking news is detected for each filtered category, which also includes its own statistics. Based on the level of retrieved hits and the detected keywords, an automatic alert can be sent by email and SMS to health authorities.

According to the commission, the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK caused MediSys to detect a sudden jump in news reports. As a result, the system sent email and SMS alerts to public health officials across Europe.

The University of Helsinki has also helped the commission set up an automatic incident detection system. This analyses English reports and extracts data on the number of cases, the location, and the date. Data is then fed into an automatic incident database used by member states.

The tool, which offers alert statistics, articles in several languages, and email alerts, is also available to citizens.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.