National Academy of Medicine

Toward Realizing an Ideal National Biosurveillance System

By Jeffrey Engel
March 15, 2013 | Commentary

In October 2007, HSPD 21 called for a nationwide biosurveillance capability. Biosurveillance “in the context of human health is the science and practice of managing health-related data and information for early warning of threats and hazards, early detection of events, and rapid characterization of the event so that effective actions can be taken to mitigate adverse health effects.”

HSPD 21 was assigned to cabinet-level departments, notably Homeland Security and Health and Human Services (HHS). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was tasked with convening experts to advise the CDC director on a new path for biosurveillance, hence the formation of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee (NBAS, a subcommittee reporting to the Advisory Committee to the CDC director).

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.