Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Biosurveillance meetings

Because of the very diverse nature of the research, implementation, and usage of syndromic surveillance systems, the platforms for discussing advances are disperesed. I've attended and given talks at a range of conferences, workshops, and workgroups ranging from purely academic to non-academic. Even within the academic conferences there are different types of meetings, from multiple disciplines. Let me describe a few past and upcoming events, and hopefully others will add to the list.

The largest venue is of course the annual Syndromic Surveillance Conference, to be hosted this year in Baltimore, MD. This is attended by many of the researchers developing and designing the systems, organizations that delpoy them, as well as users.

The DIMACS group on Biosurveillance, Data Monitoring and Information Exchange, spearheaded by Henry Rolka and Colleen Martin from CDC and David Madigan from Rutgers, organized a few workgroup meetings in the last few years. The latest brought together many health monitors who use syndromic surveillance systems.

The upcoming 2006 INFORMS conference will feature an invited session on "Quality and Statistical Decision-Making in Healthcare Applications", which might include a biosurveillance aspect.

Statistical flavor:
SAMSI Anomaly Detection Workgroup- A group of statisticians that have been meeting weekly since Sept-05 (some of them remotely) to discuss statistical methods for biosurveillance. There was a kickoff meeting and a mid-year workshop.

The 2005 Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM) in Minneapolis featured several session on biosurveillance, including an invited panel on "national systems for biosurveillance" and a session on "Innovations in Prospective Anomaly Detection for Biosurveillance".

The upcoming 2006 ENAR spring meeting will have a few biosurveillance-related talks.

The upcoming 2006 Intl Workshop on Applied Probability will have several sessions on biosurveillance (update from Daniel Neill)

More data-mining/machine-learning venues are the KDD 2005 workshop "Data Mining Methods for Anomaly Detection" and the next one, called "ML Algorithms for Surveillance and Event Detection" in conjuction with ICML-2006 in Pittsburgh.

And a venue more medical-informatics oriented is the annual American Medical Informatics Association symposium. In 2006 it will be in Washington DC (update from Daniel Neill)

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