As I left the operations center this evening, we faced at least 33 countries reporting suspect cases of swine flu, and 7 countries with laboratory-confirmed cases. Indeed, no one knows the true extent of this global crisis yet. Clearly, detection and tracking of swine flu events now is a monstrously complicated undertaking.
So, in partnership with Ozmosis, a leading physician’s social network in the United States, we have decided to take the social media revolution in biosurveillance to another level: connecting the Veratect early warning information directly to our nation’s physicians.
Previously I talked about our use of Twitter to disseminate near-real time information from 37 of the world’s languages about the current global swine flu crisis. The problem with Twitter, though, is you sacrifice speed for character length (limit= 140 characters). Well, thanks to Ozmosis, we have created a joint portal for Ozmosis’ physician community whereby they can have full access to Veratect’s detailed reports and be able to respond and add information.
This marks the advent of the 21st century in public health, where early warning information about the world is brought to the fingertips of the community physician in near-real time. It is our belief the power of social networking will more efficiently marry situational awareness with physicians’ daily lives and encourage better reporting of disease events that could negatively affect our communities, our country, and indeed, our world.
….Stay tuned for the world to change.
Ozmosis twitter feed : www.twitter.com/ozmosis
By James M. Wilson V, MD
Chief Technical Officer and Chief Scientist, Veratect Corporation