Texas and SAS to improve flu tracking and response with analytics

Flu data visualizations and projections will support more informed decision making by public health officials

Global analytics leader SAS and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are teaming up to develop new public health dashboards for tracking influenza data across the state, unifying multiple flu surveillance sources into a central visualization platform. SAS’ deep analytical capabilities also power the dashboard’s predictive models, giving health providers better projections of a disease’s spread.

The flu data visualizations and analytics will be instrumental for Texas DSHS in anticipating regional surges in cases and allocating state resources to the areas with the most testing and vaccination needs while keeping the public informed on their local outbreak risk. With a more accurate and detailed picture of the influenza risk county-by-county, drawn from updated weekly data, Texas DSHS can initiate preventative measures that can mitigate the severity of outbreaks and save more lives across the state.

The Texas DSHS dashboards and analytics are powered by SAS® Viya®, the company’s cloud-based AI, machine learning, analytics and data management platform.

SAS Viya is a perfect match for public health departments like Texas DSHS that are invested in making data work harder and smarter for government officials and the public,” said Dr. Meghan Schaeffer, National Public Health Advisor and Epidemiologist at SAS. “With a better view of where flu is, and where it’s likely going, Texas health officials can focus on their most important work: keeping Texans healthy.”

Learn more about how to conduct disease surveillance using SAS Viya.

A clearer and more digestible representation of data will allow health providers to make informed decisions faster, especially during peak seasons of activity. At the same time, SAS Viya’s ability to unify what has historically been a siloed data aggregation process onto a single dashboard dramatically reduces flu data analysis from hours down to minutes. The result is that providers can respond quickly with more influenza testing and vaccinations while accelerating the ability of health stakeholders to identify outbreaks.

At this week’s Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Conference, Schaeffer and Emilio Gonzales, Texas DSHS Influenza Surveillance Coordinator, will present a New View for Flu: SAS’ Partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services on Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. MDT.

Learn how SAS and other organizations are already making innovative use of data and analytics to better predict, detect, prepare and respond to future health threats on the Preparing for the Next Pandemic site.

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SAS and the Texas Department of State Health Services are developing new public health dashboards to track and forecast the spread of influenza across the state.