HIMSSCast: CDC’s new outbreak and disease modeling network, and its promise for public health

In September 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced more than $262 million in funding for a first-of-its-kind national network, the Outbreak Analytics and Disease Modeling Network. 

The goal, according to the agency, was to “support state and local decision-makers in developing and implementing new tools to detect, respond to, and mitigate public health emergencies more effectively.” 

More than a dozen public and private organizations were chosen to spearhead the initiative, including leading universities and health organizations. 

They were grouped as innovators (developing tools and technologies to support emergency response), integrators (testing those techniques in small-scale deployments) and implementers (using tested best practices to scale up to larger jurisdictions).

This past month, the new outbreak response and disease modeling network was launched as Insight Net.

Its aim is to empower public healthcare decision-makers to “better understand the trajectory of the next outbreak, make informed decisions, and take action during outbreak responses,” according to the CDC, while also helping members of the public “make informed decisions to protect their communities, families, and themselves during public health emergencies.”

We spoke recently Dylan George, director of the CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, about lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, how this new effort is designed to help mitigate and respond to other public health emergencies, the value of advanced analytics to help power biosurveillance, and more.


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Talking points:

  • Why CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics was formed in response to the pandemic.

  • The analytics tools and technologies it uses to model disease outbreaks.

  • National Network for Outbreak Response and Disease Modeling and InsightNet.

  • Why a state and local focus is so important.

  • What the network’s academic and university members are tasked with.

  • How AI is involved, and at what level.

  • What’s next for the network, and what it hopes to accomplish.

More about this episode:

Perspective on improving CDC’s data exchange capabilities
In the era of public health threats, CDC modernization is a race against the clock
Leidos partners with Accenture to deliver CDC cloud modernization
ONC, CDC want to fix the fragmented public health system COVID-19 exposed
CDC awards $9M for long COVID data system
Hospitals to resume sending COVID-19 data to CDC
CDC official on hospital pandemic surveillance: ‘Minimize manual processes’

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.

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