skip to main content

Title: ORBiT: Oak Ridge Bio-surveillance Toolkit for Public Health Dynamics

With novel emerging infectious diseases being reported across different parts of the world, there is a need to build effective bio-surveillance systems that can track, monitor and report such events in a timely manner. Apart from monitoring for emerging disease outbreaks, it is also important to identify susceptible geographic regions and populations where these diseases may have a significant impact. The digitization of health related information through electronic health records (EHR) and electronic healthcare claim reimbursements (eHCR) and the continued growth of self-reported health information through social media provides both tremendous opportunities and challenges in developing novel public health surveillance tools. In this paper, we present an overview of Oak Ridge Bio-surveillance Toolkit (ORBiT), which we have developed specifically to address data analytic challenges in the realm of public health surveillance. In particular, ORBiT provides an extensible environment to pull together diverse, large-scale datasets and analyze them to identify spatial and temporal patterns for various bio-surveillance related tasks. We demonstrate the utility of ORBiT in automatically extracting a small number of spatial and temporal patterns during the 2009-2010 pandemic H1N1 flu season using eHCR data. These patterns provide quantitative insights into the dynamics of how the pandemic flu spread acrossmore » different parts of the country. We discovered that the eHCR data exhibits multi-scale patterns from which we could identify a small number of states in the United States (US) that act as bridge regions contributing to one or more specific influenza spread patterns. Similar to previous studies, the patterns show that the south-eastern regions of the US were widely affected by the H1N1 flu pandemic. Several of these south-eastern states act as bridge regions, which connect the north-east and central US in terms of flu occurrences. These quantitative insights show how the eHCR data combined with novel analytical techniques can provide important information to decision makers when an epidemic spreads throughout the country. Taken together ORBiT provides a scalable and extensible platform for public health surveillance.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. ORNL
  2. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: 4th IEEE International Conference on Computational Advances in Bio and Medical Sciences, Miami Beach, FL, FL, USA, 20140602, 20140604
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org:
Work for Others (WFO)
Country of Publication:
United States
public health surveillance; big data analytics