Review of software for space-time disease surveillance




Robertson, Colin
Nelson, Trisalyn A.

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BioMed Central


Disease surveillance makes use of information technology at almost every stage of the process, from data collection and collation, through to analysis and dissemination. Automated data collection systems enable near-real time analysis of incoming data. This context places a heavy burden on software used for space-time surveillance. In this paper, we review software programs capable of space-time disease surveillance analysis, and outline some of their salient features, shortcomings, and usability. Programs with space-time methods were selected for inclusion, limiting our review to ClusterSeer, SaTScan, GeoSurveillance and the Surveillance package for R. We structure the review around stages of analysis: preprocessing, analysis, technical issues, and output. Simulated data were used to review each of the software packages. SaTScan was found to be the best equipped package for use in an automated surveillance system. ClusterSeer is more suited to data exploration, and learning about the different methods of statistical surveillance.


BioMed Central



Robertson and Nelson: Review of software for space-time disease surveillance. International Journal of Health Geographics 2010 9:16.