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Real-time data analyses and information system to support animal disease prevention and control

Published 2018-01-29

A greatvariety of animal health data are available electronically. However, their systematicuse for disease control faces a number of obstacles, from data ownership totechnical barriers. This project aims to overcome some of these impediments andcreate a real-time information system to promote earlier disease detection andsupport control. 

The mainsgoals are to: (i) develop effective methods to combine evidence from multipledata sources, while respecting data privacy issues; (ii) implement these methodsin an automated, real-time routine; and (iii) develop a user-friendly systeminterface to deliver outputs relevant to the activities of disease preventionand control.

As anexample, imagine a system that monitors reproductive performance indicatorsdirectly from farmers, as well as clinical and laboratory data ofgastrointestinal and reproductive problems in cattle. Individually, each ofthese data streams was too unspecific to alert the introduction of a newdisease in 2011, when Schmallenberg virus entered Sweden, and is believed tohave spread silently for months. Combined, the weak signals of changes in thehealth of the animal population, coming from individual data sources, couldhave signalled the epidemic earlier.

Real-timemonitoring of the health status of the animal population will speed disease detectionand improve disease control. This will in turn promote animal welfare andreduce economic losses.