Public health data sharing: challenges and opportunities

Abstract:

Speakers: Wilbert van Panhuis, University of Pittsburgh
John Grefenstette, University of Pittsburgh
Yu-Lun Liu, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control

Progress in science and technology is largely dependent on the availability of data for analysis and modeling. Advances in data sharing practices and systems in various scientific disciplines have greatly advanced scientific progress and technological development. Data access and sharing in public health have remained extremely limited due to a wide range of barriers such as technical issues, incentive related, or lack of political motivation. To set a positive example, the University of Pittsburgh digitized all weekly US notifiable disease surveillance reports published from 1888 to the present. This vast resource of disaggregated public health data named after Tycho Brahe will be made available this year.
It is expected that the Tycho database will cause a paradigm shift of the use of data in epidemiology and public health and during this session, the various applications of these data will be demonstrated. Sharing of public health data provides opportunities for links to other data sources and mash-up analysis. A wide array of database linking methods can be applied but numerous challenges need to be resolved. The particular solutions and challenges encountered by the Tycho project will be discussed during this session. Finally, data sharing at a global scale will require collaborations between countries that face similar challenges. The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control has provided disaggregated disease surveillance data to the public domain for several years and has encountered challenges that provide lessons to many similar initiatives.

Presentations during this session:

Digitizing and sharing public health data for decision making
Wilbert van Panhuis, John Grefenstette, Donald S. Burke
Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh
Email: wav10@pitt.edu

Making Public Health Data Linkable
John J. Grefenstette, Wilbert van Panhuis, Donald S. Burke
Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh
Email: gref@pitt.edu

Challenges and opportunities in making surveillance data available to the public: experiences from Taiwan Centers for Disease Control
Yu-Lun Liu, Wan-Jen Wu, Jen-Hsiang Chuang
Epidemic Intelligence Center, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control
e-mail: liuyl@cdc.gov.tw

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