Go to start page

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

Published 2018-04-27

A great variety of animal health data are available electronically. However, their systematic use for disease control faces a number of obstacles, from data ownership to technical barriers. This project aims to overcome some of these impediments and create a real-time information system to promote earlier disease detection and support control. 

The mains goals are to: (i) develop effective methods to combine evidence from multiple data sources, while respecting data privacy issues; (ii) implement these methods in an automated, real-time routine; and (iii) develop a user-friendly system interface to deliver outputs relevant to the activities of disease prevention and control.

As an example, imagine a system that monitors reproductive performance indicators directly from farmers, as well as clinical and laboratory data of gastrointestinal and reproductive problems in cattle. Individually, each of these data streams was too unspecific to alert the introduction of a new disease in 2011, when Schmallenberg virus entered Sweden, and is believed to have spread silently for months. Combined, the weak signals of changes in the health of the animal population, coming from individual data sources, could have signalled the epidemic earlier.

Real-time monitoring of the health status of the animal population will speed disease detection and improve disease control. This will in turn promote animal welfare and reduce economic losses.