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HealthMap provides global surveillance of health outbreaks

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In a special report from the New England Journal of Medicine, a Web-based interactive mapping system called HealthMap is cited as an exemplar of a new generation of public health informatics tools. HealthMap is designed to track H1N1 Influenza:

HealthMap . . . is an example of a new effort in transparent, global, public health surveillance. The HealthMap system combines automated, around-the-clock data collection and processing with expert review and analysis to aggregate reports according to type of disease and geographic location. HealthMap sifts through large volumes of information on events, obtained from a broad range of online sources in multiple languages, to provide a comprehensive view of on-going global disease activity through a freely available Web site.

The site, created by a team at Children's Hospital Boston, has a number of features including its ability to demonstrate real-time data gathered from the web, to provide a platform for collaborative investigations and to visualize the data geographically for a concerned public.

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