A One Health related Ebola Epidemic Chronology project - Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh (USA)
The NIH-funded MIDAS Informatics Services Group (ISG) has released the Ebola Epidemic Chronology.
The Ebola Epidemic Chronology is a collection of machine-interpretable representations of information about Ebola epidemics. The Chronology contains representations of 27 Ebola epidemics, both historical (23) and ongoing (4). Each representation integrates information about an epidemic from multiple sources, including publications and datasets. A unique feature of the representations is the use standard identifiers -- for pathogen, host, disease, location, time, date, and laboratory tests. Without standard identifiers, integration of information from multiple sources is much more labor intensive, and the effort to summarize and analyze across epidemics becomes almost prohibitive.
A viewer intended to demonstrate the key ideas of standardization and integration is available at:
A 4-minute video that emphasizes the key ideas about standardization and integration is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdhdmFJrZVE.
The Ebola Epidemic Chronology is just one example of the potential uses of standards-based, machine-interpretable representation. Software developers may find uses in applications used during investigations or for managing supplemental information accompanying publications or other uses that may align with the mission of the One Health Initiative to accelerate biomedical research discoveries, enhance public health efficacy, and expand the scientific knowledge base.
Michael Wagner, MD, PhD leads the ISG team that developed the Ebola Epidemic Chronology. Dr. Wagner welcomes inquiries from One Health readers. He hopes that investigators of epidemics of all types will see the representations as a means to the end of improving health and that software developers will use the representations to improve management of scientific information.
Information provided by:
Michael Wagner, MD, PhD, a physician at the Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh (USA) http://www.dbmi.pitt.edu/person/michael-m-wagner-md-phd. Dr. Wagner says, “I am enthusiastic about a potential ‘marriage’ to One Health. Dr. Dato and I know, as you do, that information is required to prevent and bring epidemics under control. That information comes from multiple disciplines and the organizations they work for. Due to its multidisciplinarity and vision, One Health would be an ideal partner in a Quest for the Information, as I like to call it these days. The project needs your help … the [our] project would especially benefit from collaboration in the areas of ecology, geography and viral genetics.”
Virginia Dato, MD, MPH, a physician Postdoctural Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine http://www.linkedin.com/pub/virginia-dato/55/35/328. Dr. Dato is a longstanding One Health Supporter http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/supporters.php through her service as a Past President of the American Association of Public Health Physician and as member of the One Health Initiative team’s Honorary Advisory Board http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/advBoard.php