RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The North Carolina Bio-Preparedness Collaborative is showcasing a bio-surveillance system for early outbreak threat detection.
When complete, the NCB-Prepared system will integrate data from sources as disparate as the environment, animal and human clinical services and food production, processing and distribution to detect emerging health threats more quickly and effectively.
Examples of data used in the system include ambulance calls, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, reports of tainted food and veterinary records.
"Local and state health directors have wide-ranging responsibilities for supporting the public's health," David Potenziani, NCB-Prepared executive director. "Because of that, they are critical to the success of our project and are also the ones who could be most empowered with information."
NCB-Prepared will allow public health experts to differentiate between normal health patterns, environmental changes and natural or man-made bio-threats. It will give decision makers evidence-based information to support better decisions and lead to innovations across the healthcare spectrum including improved patient care, streamlined day-to-day operations and better management of health resources, NCB said.
The North Carolina Bio-Preparedness Collaborative is a public-private partnership that includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and SAS, with support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
NCB-Prepared is designed to extend to other states but North Carolina will be the first to benefit.
The system is being presented Thursday at the North Carolina State Health Director's Conference.