International Digital Disease Detection Conference at USF Sept. 18-20

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 17, 2013) - The International Digital Disease Detection Conference, co-hosted by HealthMap at Boston Children's Hospital and Skoll Global Threats Fund, will take place at the University of San Francisco (USF) Sept. 18-20. Digital disease detection refers to the use of digital sources, web searches, and other technology to surface early signals of disease outbreaks and improve the ability to stop the spread of contagious diseases. The three-day conference connects innovators in technology, healthcare, and education to discuss the ever-emerging convergence of Internet technology and information gathering to advance the way infectious diseases are discovered, tracked, and treated.

Approximately 320 attendees from around the globe are expected to participate in further defining the field of study. This second annual conference will include:

  • Keynote speeches given by representatives from Facebook and Quid.
  • Panel discussions on big data, predictive analytics, and the ethics of digital disease detection.
  • Rapid fire talks on data mining and crowd sourcing.
  • Workshops on epidemiology curriculum development, improving illness surveillance, and using DDD to track vaccine coverage.

Judith Karshmer, dean of the USF School of Nursing and Health Professions and commissioner on the San Francisco Health Commission, is honored that USF is serving as the academic gathering place for this important meeting of the minds. "We see the benefits of technology in healthcare everyday," said Karshmer. "It's imperative that we take time to discuss and debate the ways healthcare and technology intersect so that our work is ethical, innovative, and dedicated to improving public health."

For a complete conference agenda and listing of presenters, please visit www.healthmap.org/ddd/schedule/. Media interested in attending the International Digital Disease Detection Conference at USF should contact Anne-Marie Devine at 415.422.2697 for a media pass and convenient campus parking.

About HealthMap

HealthMap, a team of researchers, epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children's Hospital founded in 2006, is an established global leader in utilizing online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats. The freely available Web site 'healthmap.org' and mobile app 'Outbreaks Near Me' deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases for a diverse audience including libraries, local health departments, governments, and international travelers. HealthMap brings together disparate data sources, including online news aggregators, eyewitness reports, expert-curated discussions and validated official reports, to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. Visit www.healthmap.org for details.

About the Skoll Global Threats Fund

The Skoll Global Threats Fund was created in 2009 by Jeff Skoll to confront global threats imperiling humanity by seeking solutions, strengthening alliances, and spurring actions needed to safeguard the future.  For more information, please visit www.skollglobalthreats.org.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and diverse cities. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to "Change the World from Here." For more information, please visit www.usfca.edu.

The USF School of Nursing and Health Professions prepares outstanding nurses and health professionals who positively influence quality, delivery, and access to care. In January 2014, it will launch a master's of science degree in Health Informatics. This new degree combines healthcare, information technology, and business to prepare a new generation of healthcare professionals with training to improve the development, implementation, evaluation and management of information technology solutions to advance patient care and the healthcare delivery process. For more information, please visit www.usfca.edu/nursing/mshi.

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