In collaboration with the Institute of Public Health, WHO Euro hosted a training on 'Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS)' for event-based surveillance and early detection of public health threats. This is part of the programme to strengthen epidemic intelligence in Albania.
The wealth of information available through the Internet and the associated exponential growth of publicly available (“open source”) information create exceptional new possibilities for improved detection. Increases in the volume, variety and velocity of data provide unprecedented opportunities for detection, information-sharing and processing. On the other hand, the dramatic increase in data volume has also dramatically increased “noise”, including – but not limited to – irrelevant data, useless data, duplicate data, archived or out-of-date data, unsubstantiated data (rumours), and sarcastic comments.
Nonetheless, amid the noise are valid and reliable “signals”, and there is a growing body of peer-reviewed literature documenting the usefulness of such data for public health intelligence. Open-source information is of significant value for the early detection of public health risks, and thus, for PHI. This value is directly related to the ability to systematically sift through the noise to identify, verify, assess, analyse, interpret and communicate relevant information for appropriate, timely and effective action.
EIOS Initiative is a unique collaboration between WHO and various stakeholders that brings together new and existing initiatives, networks and systems to create a unified all-hazards, 'One Health' approach to early detection, verification and assessment of public health risks and threats using open source information.