ESSENCE II and the Framework for Evaluating Syndromic Surveillance Systems


In response to the threat of biologic terrorism and the resurgence of virulent forms of infectious diseases, technologic advances are being applied to disease surveillance. Syndromic surveillance systems have emerged to capture and analyze health-indicator data to identify abnormal health conditions and enable early detection of outbreaks. Given the limited public health experience with biologic terrorism and the variety of possible terrorism scenarios, the research community is exploring the application of advanced detection technology to prediagnostic syndromic data. In 2003, CDC issued a draft framework for evaluating syndromic surveillance systems (1), which was later revised and published in MMWR (2). The CDC framework is designed for evaluation of relatively mature, fully operational syndromic surveillance systems. The technology to support syndromic surveillance is just maturing, with current operational experience gained from test-bed use. This paper applies the framework to the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE), a series of prototype systems developed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) and the Division of Preventive Medicine at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.


Objectives: This paper presents a preliminary evaluation of ESSENCE II according to a CDC framework for evaluating syndromic surveillance systems.

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
September, 2004

January 26, 2019

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