What is it? CDC’s BioSense Surveillance System is an integrated program for the early detection and rapid response of bioterrorism related diseases and infections. This program allows for state and local health departments that allows them to report in a timely fashion, emergency health information like infectious diseases and bio-hazards. BioSense was mandated by the Public health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Response Act of 2002. CDC launched this program in 2003. The BioSense program provides federal agencies and partners with regional and national trends of disease syndromes and situational awareness for public health prediction. BioSense 2.0 is the re-designed version of BioSense to afford a cloudbased
environment and further expansion of the BioSense program. Health IT services provided: BioSense Surveillance System provides public health surveillance services and data analysis services for healthcare. Healthcare 2.0, emergency preparedness and rapid decision making services. Current Status: BioSense is still in use. Recently, BioSense was redesigned and rolled out as an upgraded 2.0 version. This version went through an upgrade for a more sustaining data collection and analysis. BioSense’ redesign is a little bit different in the sense that the system did not fail in order to be re-designed. This redesign however, was needed to shift the focus of the surveillance program to better cater to the needs of its stakeholders and end-users. Currently, the BioSense 2.0 system also supports existing emergency preparedness systems.
CDC gathers these emergency data from local/state health departments to understand the prevention of chronic, infectious as well as environmental diseases as they are timely reported into the BioSense tool. This helps them create a picture of the current situation of health diseases as it is reported by infected people who visit health facilities in part participating states. Analysis of BioSense design: The redesign of BioSense started with a deeper collaboration between CDC, the general public health community and CDC’s other stakeholders for the BioSense program. They quickly identified new goals for BioSense 2.0 as well as old goals from BioSense that needed to be revisited. They also worked on new requirements and stakeholders needs as they had new stakeholders and new business requirements form their new business goals. The architecture had to support the functionality and user volume for data reporting. When BioSense 2.0 was done, the implementation was a phased rolled out to users. They committed to intensive system maintenance and control. The design of BioSense 2.0 system also included visualizations; thus health data/information that was presented visually at a basic, qualitative epidemiological level. Users could access and analyze these features through a search engine that supported this feature.
Kelley Chester’s paper on BioSense “Overview of the BioSense 2.0 System Architecture” describes the design of the architecture. In this article, it is shared that a “new fat pipe system architecture has recently been implemented to improve the features and capabilities of the system” What does this mean? It means that the architecture for the new BioSense is for sure not the same architecture used in the design of the previous version. It also means that according to the new and revised goals of BioSense 2.0, the architecture will not only support them but also enhance the functionalities of the system. The design of the architecture of BioSense 2.0 also included the re-design of the interfaces for users as well as data issues that the system will have to deal with. CDC reports that the redesign of BioSense has been a rigorous process that has yielded an application based on a user-centered design approach. They acknowledge that users, stakeholders and partners have played critical roles in designing and improving the BioSense 2.0 program. In 2014, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)’s blog -ePublic Health Blog-requested users to be participants of the BioSense Usability Testing which was to happen at the NACCHO Annual Conference. In the participant recruitment blog piece, they explained how the usability testing will test for design issues. These testing were all scenario based and a way to continue to improve and innovate the features of the BioSense 2.0 system Conclusions: Users attest that BioSense 2.0 is intuitive, user friendly, secure, and cost effective. As a system that has to be user and/ or community-controlled but user driven in terms of environment, BioSense 2.0 has done a great job in its redesign. In order to be able to protect the health of the public, BioSense design has to also support privacy and security issues. It has to be efficient in its design (system and visual) to provide timely information and trends of health on communities, regions, and the nation as a whole. Good design had to be a big part of this process.