Public Health Information Fusion for Situation Awareness

  • Henry Rolka
  • Jean C. O’Connor
  • David Walker
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5354)


Recent events, including the terrorist attacks in the fall of 2001, the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Hurricane Katrina, highlight the need for real-time information exchange to enhance government’s awareness and understanding of public health events in order to detect and respond as those events unfold. This paper describes the planned approach of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Office of Critical Information Integration and Exchange (OCIIX) in meeting that need through the programmatic area known as BioPHusion—the identification of critical information requirements (CIRs) and the operationalization of real-time public health information fusion and leadership decision-support activities. Drawing from methodologies for situation awareness used in other domains, we outline the framework being used for the implementation of BioPHusion, including the formalization of information exchange partnerships, systematic information source acquisition, policy development, analysis, research, threat assessments and situational awareness report production. We propose that the framework can be applied to the development of real-time information exchange for situation awareness in other public health practice settings, such as state and local government. And, we suggest that the framework can be used to explore the possibilities around sharing critical information with other components of government involved in the detection of, and response to, public health emergencies.


Fusion public health bioterrorism situation awareness 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Rolka
    • 1
  • Jean C. O’Connor
    • 1
  • David Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of Critical Information Integration and Exchange, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Email: LNCS@Springer.comAtlantaUSA

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