HealthMap is an established global leader in utilizing both formal and informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and emerging public health threats surveillance.
Data is automatically aggregated from over 200,000 online sources including news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions, validated official reports, and social media. Via natural language processing and proprietary algorithms, alerts are tagged, filtered, analyzed, and visualized by machine and public health experts.
Operating since 2006 with data dating back in 1994, HealthMap has garnered a number of national awards and has strong government sponsorship with unique, strategic collaborations including the FDA, USAID, DoD, HHS, CDC and WHO. HealthMap also licenses data to top pharmaceutical, life science and global risk companies. Clients have the ability to focus on particular diseases, trends, sources, or regions to derive data of interest, and tailored dashboards can be created to visualize and interact with the custom data.
The largest recorded outbreak of Ebola as of November 2014, having emerged in West Africa and spread to Europe and North America, infected more than 13,000 and killed close to 5,000.
HealthMap picked up the earliest public signals of initial outbreak in Guinea dating back to March 2014. The efforts include analyses of cases and mortality data along with information on social disruption and control strategies. Within 6 months of the outbreak more than 13,000 alerts were aggregated, classified, and visualized. An interactive online tool was created to track and visualize the disease’s spread temporally and geographically.
Further, HealthMap visualized the projected spread of the disease and high-risk areas of transmission. HealthMap’s Ebola data supported outbreak surveillance by the CDC, DHS, HHS, and WHO. In the months following the outbreak, HealthMap was featured in various news sources including TIME, Newsweek, and Associated Press, highlighting the value of digital disease detection.
Antibiotic Resistance Intelligence
For pharmaceutical clients, Epidemico offers a custom HealthMap solution to monitor antibiotic resistance. This data feed is used to assess and predict disease spread as well as support more effective clinical trial design and enrollment. The platform was developed by adjusting the HealthMap taxonomy to antibiotic resistance-specific terminology as specified by clients. Additional sources were added to provide more focused coverage of this topic. A complementary visualization dashboard was developed to report key metrics and intelligence, including trends by location and spreading patterns.
As a targeted ‘deep-dive’, Epidemico created a dengue surveillance platform. Data was collected from high-value Ministries of Health in key, high-burden countries as well as traditional sources with global coverage. By tailoring HealthMap technology specifically to dengue, this project focuses on endemic countries, classifies the disease in more detail, and focuses on data sources that are most pertinent to the disease of interest.
Developed with support from the FDA, MedWatcher Social is a social media monitoring and analytics platform, distilling vast amounts of social media data to discover meaningful insights related to medical products (drugs, devices, vaccines). Our platform identifies, aggregates, classifies, and visualizes adverse events, sentiment, and mentions related to medical products. Clients can quickly gain a comprehensive understanding of patient-product interactions, easily track consumer-based information about their own products and those of their competitors, with customized dashboards. MedWatcher Social is one of the few social media monitoring platforms that has been validated according to Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP) guidelines for drug safety tools, and is compliant with GxP regulations.
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MedWatcher from Epidemico Inc. on Vimeo.
Using crowdsourcing for public health surveillance, the StreetRx program gathers user-submitted information, capturing the street price of prescription and illicit drugs. StreetRx is a collection of databases, websites, and citizen reports enabling real-time collection, organization, and display of street price data on diverted pharmaceutical controlled substances. Based on principles of crowdsourcing for public health surveillance, the site allows users to anonymously submit prices they paid or heard were paid for diverted prescription drugs. Visitors can anonymously view, post, and rate submissions offering price transparency to an otherwise opaque black market, while providing a novel data set for public health surveillance.
StreetRx has been launched in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
StreetRx is a collaboration between Epidemico and the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System, a prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion surveillance system that collects timely product-and geographically-specific data.
We developed GulfMedic, a system that enabled tracking of oil spill related occupational health events in the gulf, in collaboration with HHS (the Department of Health and Human Services) to provide timely intelligence about the health status of those involved with the cleanup. We deployed an electronic data capture platform designed specifically for the iPad. Medics who encountered patients collected data directly on the iPad, which was stored securely on the iPad and then sent to a secure database for storage, retrieval of electronic medical records and, in the end, real-time visualization of health trends in the region.
Real-time mortality data is crucial for multiple health applications including disease surveillance, clinical trial patient monitoring, identity fraud, and population health applications spanning drug epidemics to veteran health.
Epidemico, in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, seeks to overcome reporting delays and gaps with real-time mortality awareness. Project Certainty applys our HealthMap media monitoring expertise to multiple sources of death notices, and is in active development towards being the only real-time mortality monitoring tool.
Geospatial Utilities and Models for Biosurveillance Operations
GUMBO addresses globalization and ecological pressures increasing the risk of biological incidents of national signifance. Our objective is to bring state-of-the-art, web-based information integration and geoinformatics capabilities to the biosurveillance community to support the analyis of infectious disease threats in the context of climatological, demographic, ecological, and other geospatial data. The primary goal of GUMBO is to enable analysts and policy makers to make informed decisions earlier by delivering an open-source geovisualization toolkit that will provide rapid access to data from multiple sources, geoinformatics analytic capabilities, and integration with existing tools and models for the biosurveillance community.
Media GRIID (Geospatial Real-time Internet-based Intelligence for Drugs) is a proprietary NAVIPPRO (National Addictions Vigilance Intervention and Prevention Program) data source that continually aggregates news reports that mention prescription-medication-related events to produce a unified and comprehensive global situational view of product-specific events; these events include abuse, diversion, and overdose. The system is a multistream, multilingual, real-time public health intelligence platform that automatically monitors online information at a product-specific level; it facilitates knowledge management and the early detection of events that may shape public opinion and potentially trigger regulatory actions. Media GRIID is designed to provide a starting point for situational awareness and intelligence on product-specific trends in prescription drug abuse, misuse, and diversion.
The Web-RADR project is a grant agreement supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). The consortium is developing an EU-wide mobile application for both patients and healthcare professionals to report suspected adverse drug reactions to national EU regulators, with the intent of augmenting pharmacovigilance by using publicly available social media data for identifying drug safety issues. Our work addresses the challenges of managing ADR data from social media and mobile apps by delivering usable products for all stakeholders, and is underpinned by robust research and user testing.
Epidemico deliverables: expanding MWS, development of mobile apps for patients/physicians to submit AE reports to health authorities for 3 pilot member states & social listening
UK/MHRA with YellowCard app:
The Yellow Card Scheme is a mobile application used to help the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) monitor all of the UK’s healthcare products, ensuring they are safe for the public’s use. The public can digitally report side effects, counterfeit health products, defective medicines, etc. directly the to MHRA.
Also under development:
Can social listening data be used to provide meaningful insights into potential abuse of bupropion?
Monitoring social media forums containing pertinent information can better protect the public. Social media listening offers an efficient way to better understand the abuse potential (non-medical use) of bupropion for pharmacoepidemiological analysis. Epidemico is providing data from the MedWatcher System to deliver retrospective and prospective intelligence for bupropion to gather insight into bupropion abuse.
MedWatcher Mobile App
We co-created the MedWatcher Mobile App with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), allowing individuals to submit digital, secure voluntary reports of serious medical device problems directly to the FDA using a smartphone or tablet. Traditional adverse event reporting takes place in cumbersome forums, causing bottlenecks, misinterpretation, or loss of information. The MedWatcher App responds to this issue by creating an application that engages patient reporting that provides the FDA with information to inform policy and regulations in relation to medical products.
MedWatcher from Epidemico Inc. on Vimeo.
Enhancing Tobacco Surveillance through Online Monitoring
The emergence of new tobacco products into the market prompted the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to initiate an early detection system for new products before products become entrenched in the market or are recognized to cause negative health effects. We are providing CTP with a social listening solution for tobacco product surveillance by monitoring social media for user conversations about existing and emerging tobacco products, specifically: use,outcomes, perceptions, and attitudes toward tobacco products. In doing so, we are helping to keep public health surveillance up to date with market changes and can reduce lag time in detecting such as adverse events and sentiment.
The Athena Project
The Athena Project is a European Union (EU) grant-funded consortium using media communications and developing tools to enhance first responder and civilians in crisis situations. Epidemico is leading the Project’s mobile application development, helping to promote information sharing during crises.
The Project's objectives are to develop a mobile application allowing users to report & receive information during a crisis, utilize smart phone GPS information to enable faster & more directed activities by first responders, enhance public situational awareness by making available crowdsourced information, provide a new means of communication for search and rescue that enables emergency messaging when land lines and cell communications are disabled.
West Yorkshire Police Authority (WYPA), Thales, UVA, EPAM Systems (EPAM), Research in Motion (RIM)
High-level regulatory changes within federal agencies are calling upon both industry and individual government agencies to be more proactive around the detection of food and drug safety issues. SupplyChainMap monitors products under FDA regulation (food, medical products, cosmetics, dietary supplements, pet food, veterinary medicines, etc.) focusing on cross-border imports from high-risk countries. By prospective monitoring of open intelligence from social media, news media, and other unofficial data sources, SupplyChainMap provides early insight on potential contamination, adulteration, and quality issues in aforementioned products through customizable data visualization. The real time supply chain safety data coupled with built-in geospatial capability addresses both the extended value chain and geo-environmental risks that are missing from traditional supply chain risk management solutions. SupplyChainMap works with regulatory players, public health institutions, as well as commercial organizations, food producers, and pharmaceutical companies. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a demo.
We developed BioSense, a nationwide, cross-jurisdictional surveillance system, with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow data sharing of health-related threats ranging from political national conventions to the Super Bowl in real-time. These data are used to monitor epidemic, bioterror events, and other outbreaks across state borders, and are shared in real-time due to reformatted protocols and sharing paradigms created for information sharing conditions, highlighting our ability to work with emergency data and meaningful use with the CDC. With BioSense, we could provide nationwide and regional awareness for all-hazard threats beyond bioterrorism, and to support national, state, and local responses to those threats as well as integate local and state-level data into a cohesive picture. BioSense offers utility for state and local stakeholders, providing multipurpose value for a regional (i.e. multistate) and national view of multiple health outcomes.