Surveillance is a core activity for public health practice. Standard tasks include outbreak detection, post-marketing drug adverse event surveillance, immunization program evaluation and institutional comparisons. Recent concerns about bioterrorism have attracted increased attention to new analytic surveillance methods applied to non-traditional data sources such as over-the-counter drug sales, ambulance dispatches and pre-diagnostic patient encounter summaries. Both the novel methods and new data sources raise significant statistical and computing challenges. The need for innovative statistical methods for surveillance of multiple data streams and the evaluation of utility for new methodologies are especially pressing issues.
This DIMACS tutorial will provide an overview of the challenges and address an array of statistical surveillance tools and techniques. The first two days of the tutorial will focus on hands-on use of specific methodologies through case-studies and elementary introductions. The second two days will concern itself more with current research activities and new research challenges.
The tutorial will address such topics as: