Development and Evaluation of an on-line Alert System for Meningococcal Meningitis Surveillance

Wagner Zaparoli, Ana Lucia Frugis Yu, Marcos Carvalho de Aquino Silva, Ricardo Zanini, Ricardo Zanini


Objective: To develop and evaluate an epidemic alert system based on real-time electronic notification, running a pilot study for meningococcal meningitis from notification database of São Paulo State. Methods: The system was developed in four stages: Inception, Analysis, Construction and Test/Simulation. The Inception covered the requirements elicitation, which defined ";what"; the system should do. The Analysis involved the modeling and specification rules that defined ";how"; the system should work. The Construction covered the transformation of defined and modeled rules in programming language. The last stage, Test/Simulation, checked the system under known scenarios, comparing the timing of outputs with the Brazilian notification surveillance framework. In order to make identification easier, the system was named with the acronym VISAO - Vigilance by Information System and Alerting On-line. Results: many artifacts were made and some evidences were verified. Some examples of artifacts are the requirements, use cases, class diagram, physical data model, test cases, and algorithms. About the evidences we can mention the fast alert production in simulations of this system as compared with the current procedure in use by health authorities. Conclusion: In simulations we observed that in two opportunities VISAO managed to put in evidence outbreak occurrence in advance to the traditional used method by Epidemiological Surveillance Center of São Paulo. In comparison with similar systems under operation, VISAO is distinguished from them in issuing real-time outbreak alerts.


epidemiological monitoring, disease notification, meningococcal meningitis, transmissible disease control, medical informatics

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Journal of Health Informatics - ISSN 2175-4411
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