EpiHack Minneapolis, September 2015

Data Analytics

Event Description

Our sixth EpiHack event took place in Minneapolis, USA, hosted by the University of Minnesota's Food Protection and Defense Institute in partnership with HealthMap of Boston Children's Hospital and the Skoll Global Threats Fund on September 28-29th, 2015. We invited researchers, epidemiologists, and technologists from around the United States to this two-day event that focused on analyzing and interpreting data from the Flu Near You participatory surveillance system and other novel data sources for the purpose of improving influenza surveillance in the United States.


The goals of EpiHack Minneapolis were:

  1. To enable a sample of U.S. health departments to acquire, manage, analyze and interpret data from the Flu Near You participatory surveillance system in order to augment existing surveillance methods.
  2. To pilot a collaborative approach for integrating new tools and novel data streams into applied public health work that can be tested, evaluated, and replicated for other public health resources.

The results from this event included:

  1. Updated data dictionaries for Flu Near You and a "How To Guide" for health departments seeking to leverage FNY data.
  2. SAS and R code for importing and analyzing Flu Near You data in a health department setting.
  3. Visualization and dashboard prototypes to inform future designs and information-sharing platforms.
  4. Presentations from AthenaHealth and Virginia Bioinformatics Institute on addition influenza surveillance tools and resources.
  5. Growing the community of practice around the use of participatory surveillance systems for applied public health.

Organized and support from:

For more event information visit website

Credit note: Adam Crawley for providing EpiHack Minneapolis information

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