The risk of epidemics and emerging or re-emerging diseases such as avian flu, tuberculosis, malaria and other vector-borne diseases, is rising. These risks can be contained with prevention, early warning, and prompt management. Despite progress in information technology, communication is still a bottleneck for health early warning and response systems in post-disaster situations. This paper presents Satellites for Epidemiology (SAFE), a component-based interoperable architecture for health early warning that employs satellite, radio, and wireless networks, geographic information systems, integration technology, and data mining to promptly identify and respond to a disease outbreak. In a post-disaster situation, a mobile health emergency coordination center is established and integrated to public health services for health monitoring. The added-value of SAFE for post-disaster health management will be demonstrated as part of an earthquake readiness exercise regarding a typhoid fever epidemic, in the island of Crete. Advanced communication and data mining techniques in SAFE offer new tools to the “Epidemic Intelligence” and contribute to advanced preparedness and prompt response by lifting communication barriers, promoting collaboration, and reducing the isolation of affected areas.
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