DHS looking for wider bio-data feed

Shutterstock image (by wongwean): bio data.

(Image: Wongwean / Shutterstock)

What: The Department of Homeland Security National Biosurveillance Integration Center is assessing the capabilities of real-time data feeds for use in its biosurveillance duties.

Why: NBIC is looking into harnessing real-time public data feeds for biosurveillance across human, animal, plant and environmental areas. The agency wants to find out about data feeds that aggregate open source information from news media, forums, blogs and other publicly available sources to provide relevant information to aid in early detection of biological events of national concern.

NBIC already integrates information gathered from federal, state, and local government and private sectors related to human, animal, plant, and environmental health domains. According to DHS, NBIC uses an information gathering and analysis system called the Biosurveillance Common Operating Network, which pulls in information from more than 24,000 sources and analyzes the data against a lexicon of 8,000 words and phrases associated with potential biological events. BCON uses open source media, technical information reporting systems, interagency partner input and specialized portals.

In its RFI,  the agency is interested in  spreading a wider detection net for biological threats using publicly available websites such as trade media, social media, subject matter expert sites and any publicly available source relevant to biosurveillance. Potential aggregators should be able to scan for information on human and animal infectious diseases, as well as plant and environmental issues.

The agency wants a source that can aggregate a minimum of 50,000 independently published, online data sources that can be indexed every 12 hours, at minimum, with content gathered on an hourly basis, at minimum, available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year.

Click here to read the RFI.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Mar 18, 2015 at 9:49 AM


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