How Digital Interactions Make Outbreak Management More Human

August 14, 2019 Mark Marostica

In today’s view of how services are provided, “digital” is sometimes seen as the opposite of “human.” Ironically, the reverse is often true: in key areas, it’s the use of digital tools that makes human-to-human interaction more powerful and effective.

In the area of modern public health, nowhere is this more evident than outbreak management. When dangerous diseases spread from person to person, only people—medical personnel, researchers, public health authorities, countless others—can help. There’s no substitute for skill, dedication and good intentions. But during a fast-spreading potential communicable disease outbreak, the impact of these qualities is limited—unless the right technology is present to dramatically expand the reach of important actions and decisions. Digital solutions are what make it possible for outbreak containment measures to travel faster than the outbreak itself. Speed is of the essence.

That’s why disease surveillance and outbreak management software can make such a huge difference when public health is threatened by the spread of dangerous diseases or conditions. The patterns of how a disease spreads and how it can be contained and treated are only evident when the data is captured, analyzed and presented correctly. Recognizing the patterns apparent in data doesn’t automatically solve the problem of a growing outbreak—but it puts the right information in the hands of the right people to make a difference.

At Conduent, we leverage technology-driven digital platforms to modernize experiences and make them more efficient, seamless and satisfying for constituents. What does that mean for public health? It means Maven, a user-friendly, web-based system with contact tracing, monitoring and quarantine enforcement tools. Maven’s capabilities for disease surveillance and outbreak management can be used to track more than 90 reportable conditions, including some of the world’s deadliest:

  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Opioid Overdoses
  • STDs/HIV
  • Foodborne illnesses

When faced with a potential outbreak, Maven allows public health departments to:

  • Conduct real-time contact tracing to quickly and securely track those infected with or exposed to the illness
  • Analyze and validate case and contact data
  • Triage disease events in real time as reports are received of confirmed cases, suspects or persons at risk
  • Create useful reports to shape and accelerate decision-making
  • Use mobile capabilities for remote access, making key information even more available to those who need it

You can read more about Maven’s capabilities here.

Regardless of what tool is used, outbreak management requires some sort of technology to truly be effective. It’s the combination of human dedication and digital enablement that enables analysis, enhances communication, and protects public health. In many cases, this combination saves lives. And what could be more human than that?

About the Author

Chief Operating Officer, Consilience Software, A Xerox Company

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