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Pittsburgh Life Sciences Company Using Community Health Surveillance Platform to Track H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
Date:5/4/2009

PITTSBURGH, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Monitoring Systems (HMS) is a Pittsburgh-based company pioneering a new field in the healthcare information technology arena: Community Health Surveillance. HMS is currently supporting state and local public health departments as they work to monitor the H1NI Flu (Swine Flu). HMS has been working continuously to help track and characterize the outbreak of H1N1 since the first cases in the United States were reported in April 2009.

HMS provides federal, state, local and regional public health and health care organizations [with the means to collect and analyze admission data from hospital emergency rooms (ERs)] in various regions around the United States. The data is aggregated using the HMS EpiCenter(TM) software service and measured against baselines (customized by region) for time and day using statistical filters that incorporate predictive algorithms and probabilistic modeling.

HMS is responding to the H1N1 Flu concern by working with public health officials to customize and increase the surveillance capabilities of the EpiCenter(TM) software service in the face of a pandemic. HMS Chief Technical Officer Jim Durrell explains, "Our researchers are developing techniques to track patients from the moment they access hospital care through the point that they are diagnosed. This includes patients who are seeking treatment because they are concerned about exposure to the virus and those who have influenza-like symptoms."

HMS EpiCenter(TM) is currently providing real-time public health information by gathering data from 350 hospitals in 15 states - acting like a "forecaster" for the spread of disease. This includes service to some of the areas first hit by the H1N1 scare, including Ohio and northern New Jersey.

"The public health professionals we serve are taking the outbreak of H1N1 very seriously and are working incredibly hard to understand what is happening and how it affects each of our communities," said Kevin Hutchison, CEO of HMS. Hutchison added, "We have been responding to a high volume of calls from public health officials from across the United States at all hours of the day and night. Their diligence and commitment to our health and safety is exemplary."

About Health Monitoring Systems (HMS)

HMS is helping detect, pinpoint and understand real-time and emerging health and safety issues on a local, regional, state and federal basis. Armed with up-to-date and reliable data about outbreaks and patterns of disease, crime and other health and safety developments, including possible bioterrorism, government health officials, hospital staff and pharmaceutical industry managers are empowered to act proactively in the protection of public health and safety. www.hmsinc.com


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SOURCE Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
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