Mitigating data collection challenges with adaptive frameworks


Electronic disease surveillance systems can be extremely valuable tools; however, a critical step in system implementation is collection of data. Without accurate and complete data, statistical anomalies that are detected hold little meaning. Many people who have established successful surveillance systems acknowledge the initial data collection process to be one of the most challenging aspects of system implementation. These challenges manifest from varying degrees of economical, infrastructural, environmental, cultural, and political factors. Although some factors are not controllable, selecting a suitable collection framework can mitigate many of these obstacles. JHU/APL, with support from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, has developed a suite of tools, Suite for Automated Global bioSurveillance (SAGES), that is adaptable for a particular deployment’s environment and takes the above factors into account. These subsystems span communication systems such as telephone lines, mobile devices, internet applications, and desktop solutions--each has compelling advantages and disadvantages depending on the environment in which they are deployed. When these subsystems are appropriately configured and implemented, the data are collected with more accuracy and timeliness.


This paper describes the common challenges of data collection and presents a variety of adaptable frameworks that succeed in overcoming obstacles in applications of public health and electronic disease surveillance systems and/or processes, particularly in resource-limited settings.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2010

June 27, 2019

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