An online â€œinformation dashboardâ€ that can improve the nationâ€™s response to a major disease outbreak has earned the 2010 Science & Technology Impact Award from the Department of Homeland Security.
Specifically, the award honors the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD) for rapidly deploying the technology â€“ known as the Bio-surveillance Common Operating Picture (BCOP) â€“ for DHS during the global H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009. FAZD Center researchers built, tested and launched the BCOP in weeks rather than months as originally scheduled.
â€œThis versatile technology offers many applications to enhance homeland security, including human health, animal health, national defense and emergency management,â€ said Tammy Beckham, the FAZD Centerâ€™s interim director. â€œInformation dashboards like the BCOP allow for a faster, more effective response to a crisis or disaster at all levels: local, state and federal.â€
In addition to serving as a command and control systems for decision makers during crisis and disasters, information dashboards can also work as training simulators, Beckham said.
â€œThey can create â€˜virtual veteransâ€™ of large-scale disasters,â€ she said.