NIH Funds New Center at Johns Hopkins for Real-Time Flu Tracking | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

NIH Funds New Center at Johns Hopkins for Real-Time Flu Tracking

May 8, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a contract to researchers at the Baltimore, Md.-based Johns Hopkins University to launch a new center devoted to developing innovative ways to identify and track influenza viruses worldwide.

A high priority for the Johns Hopkins center is to develop better ways to rapidly identify which circulating influenza virus strains are robust enough to infect large numbers of people and cause serious, widespread illness, said Andrew Pekosz, Ph.D.,  Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, who will co-direct the new center.

To that end, the Johns Hopkins’ Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) team plans to track human influenza virus strains in the U.S. and Taiwan as part of an effort build a database of influenza cases in real time from hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

The data will be stored in a central, cloud-based computer network so that researchers across the CEIRS network can access the information for their own projects and share insights and findings from across the country and around the world.

Under terms of the contract from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins will be one of only five institutions in the U.S. to be a part of CEIRS, and the institutions in the CEIRS network will pursue independent research projects collaborate on others.

The center staff will also analyze genetic characteristics of influenza viruses and use genome sequencing technologies on viruses collected for the database. Pekosz notes that a storehouse of such information could aid vaccine manufacturers in developing vaccines that better protect against circulating seasonal strains and give public health agencies and drug makers more lead time to prepare for a potential emerging pandemic.

Read the source article at hopkinsmedicine.org

Topics

News

AHIMA Issues Cybersecurity Plan for Healthcare Organizations

Cyber attacks against the healthcare industry are growing at an accelerated pace, and to help healthcare organizations strengthen their cybersecurity programs and defend against a cyber attack, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently released a 17-step cybersecurity plan.

Loma Linda University Medical Center Gets HIMSS Stage 7 Designation

Loma Linda University (LLU) Medical Center and other patient care facilities linked to the health system have achieved Stage 7 designation on HIMSS Analytics’ inpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

HHS OIG Report Cites Concerns with MACRA Implementation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General issued a report of its review of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) management of the Quality Payment Program and cited specific concerns regarding the need for more specialized technical assistance for clinicians and program integrity efforts.

Cerner Files Protest over $62M EHR Contract Awarded to Epic

Cerner Corp. has filed a protest against rival EHR vendor Epic Systems following an “unfair bidding process and a possible conflict of interest” for a recent IT implementation contract awarded by the University of Illinois (UI) medical center.

NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.