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DHS plans commercial ‘real-time data feed’ that monitors disease outbreaks worldwide on 24/7 basis

In an effort to monitor the reported outbreaks of infectious diseases worldwide, the DHS office of health affairs plans to contract with a small business to provide a “real-time data feed,” drawn from at least 25,000 online sources, on a 24/7 basis, with its content updated at least hourly.

The data feed, which would be delivered in an email or RSS format, would give the U.S. Government the right to share the information inside the government, as well as outside the government “for U.S. Government purposes,” says a small business set-aside solicitation that was issued by DHS on September 3.

“Through management of the Department’s operational biodefense programs, including the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC), [the office of health affairs] conducts biosurveillance activities to enable early warning and situational awareness of acute biological events and support better decisions through rapid identification, characterization, localization, and tracking,” explains the solicitation.

The real-time data feed would be based on “publicly available reported information,” would originate in material published in at least five different languages (English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese), and be translated into English.

The information presented in the data feed would include the specific disease, location, time stamp of the original publication and details of the event derived from the original reporting source.

The Office of Health Affairs is envisioning a contract with a one-year base period plus a one-year option period, says the solicitation. Prospective vendors are required to respond to DHS by September 13.

Further information is available from Margaret Tse at margaret.tse@dhs.gov.