Accenture Federal Services has won a $3 million, one-year contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) enhance its biosurveillance capabilities using social media analytics, as well as improve data sharing and collaboration between OHA and its partners.
“Social media platforms are now an everyday part of peoples’ lives, finding their way into all forms of communication,” said John Matchette, leader of Accenture’s Public Safety agency work. “Rapidly collecting and understanding what information is being shared will help OHA meet its mission to detect and respond to potential threats to national health security.”
Biosurveillance monitors public health trends and unusual occurrences by relying on pre-existing, real-time health data (data that is publicly available and easily obtained). Collecting and understanding information from these channels is critical because of the vast amount rapidly shared and available through social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs). Accenture will create a pilot program that takes data from social networking and social media sites to help OHA better predict, mitigate, protect citizens, or respond to potential crises in real time.
Accenture, which has worked with DHS since its establishment in 2001, will work with OHA to develop a social media analytics pilot that will manage, link, and analyze data from social media networks in real time to better inform and protect the public in case of a national health emergency.