Enhancing BioWatch Capabilities Through Technology and Collaboration: Proceedings of a Workshop


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

In response to the 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report Biosurveillance: DHS Should Not Pursue BioWatch Upgrades or Enhancements Until System Capabilities Are Established, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a workshop to further explore the findings of the 2015 GAO report and discuss the impact these findings may have with regard to the future development of the technical capabilities of the BioWatch program. The National Academies’ Health and Medicine Division, under the auspices of the Standing Committee on Health Threats and Workforce Resilience, established an ad hoc committee to organize a 2-day public workshop. As part of this discussion of GAO’s findings, the workshop was to explore current BioWatch program technologies and approach the question of how technological evolution now and in the future might impact the next generation of the program. In addition, the workshop was to discuss existing and possible collaborations between BioWatch, public health laboratories, and other stakeholders that could contribute to the enhancement of biosurveillance capabilities at the federal, state, and local levels.