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Pittsburgh's Health Monitoring Systems to Provide Public Health Outbreak Surveillance at Super Bowl
With cruise ship norovirus making headlines, it’s easy to realize that an influx of people into a large venue can cause a potential health emergency. Tens of thousands of spectators will pack New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl this weekend—during one of the most frigid periods in the region’s history—and Health Monitoring Systems is providing sophisticated outbreak monitoring software that allows the State of New Jersey to quickly identify and react to any public health crisis that could arise.

Health Monitoring Systems, the largest syndromic surveillance provider in the United States, will analyze data from emergency room admissions and look for trends that could indicate a crisis or outbreak. With hundreds of thousands of people expected in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area for the full week of football festivities, the State of New Jersey has requested that its hospital emergency rooms ask patients if they are in town for the Super Bowl. This will help to determine if a health crisis is new to the area and related to the influx of visitors. The monitoring began on January 26 and will continue through the main event. Health Monitoring Systems’ automated monitoring tools will help to identify if incoming patients have traveled from the Denver and Seattle metropolitan areas.

“This is an exciting project for us—one with a national and even international scope—and we’re pleased to be working with New Jersey on this important initiative,” according to Health Monitoring Systems President and CEO Kevin Hutchison.

In the past three years, Health Monitoring Systems has helped New Jersey to track Emergency Room admissions related to Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. According to Hutchison, during a large event like the Super Bowl it’s critical to monitor the potential for an illness to spread quickly. “Our monitoring systems allow the State of New Jersey to quickly identify an uptick in Emergency Room admissions that could signify a health crisis,” he states.