Using Surveillance Technology to Improve Public Health

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] has released a report detailing the use of surveillance technology to improve public health in the United States. As we continue to develop increasingly sophisticated technology, the ability to collect and interpret public health data across the United States grows as well. The CDC is developing a strategy to use this technology to track and treat public health crises across the country. In the report, the CDC lists three goals that work as “building blocks” to accomplish this goal:

  1. “Enhance the accountability, resource use, workforce, and innovation for surveillance at CDC and in support of federal and state, territorial, local, and tribal agencies.
  2. “Accelerate the use of emerging tools and approaches to improve the availability of quality and timely surveillance data.”
  3. “Demonstrate early success through four crosscutting surveillance system initiatives to improve public health surveillance outcomes.”

Additionally, the importance of collecting and synthesizing this information is imperative for meeting the needs of the public. Creating a full and accurate picture of public health needs also means integrating several sources of data for the most robust results. Most importantly, the CDC can detect initial cases more effectively, monitor preventable illnesses, raise greater awareness and provide better insight into serious public health concerns.

The HSDL has several additional public health-related resources such as the Opioids and Pandemics and Epidemics on our Featured Topics page.

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