Web-based infectious disease surveillance systems and public health perspectives: a systematic review

Cited 56 time in Web of Science Cited 76 time in Scopus

Choi, Jihye; Cho, Youngtae; Shim, Eunyoung; Woo, Hyekyung

Issue Date
BioMed Central
BMC Public Health, 16(1):1238
Surveillance systemsEpidemicsOutbreakReal-timeWeb-basedEarly detection
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are a significant public health concern, and early detection and immediate response is crucial for disease control. These challenges have led to the need for new approaches and technologies to reinforce the capacity of traditional surveillance systems for detecting emerging infectious diseases. In the last few years, the availability of novel web-based data sources has contributed substantially to infectious disease surveillance. This study explores the burgeoning field of web-based infectious disease surveillance systems by examining their current status, importance, and potential challenges.

A systematic review framework was applied to the search, screening, and analysis of web-based infectious disease surveillance systems. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase databases to extensively review the English literature published between 2000 and 2015. Eleven surveillance systems were chosen for evaluation according to their high frequency of application. Relevant terms, including newly coined terms, development and classification of the surveillance systems, and various characteristics associated with the systems were studied.

Based on a detailed and informative review of the 11 web-based infectious disease surveillance systems, it was evident that these systems exhibited clear strengths, as compared to traditional surveillance systems, but with some limitations yet to be overcome. The major strengths of the newly emerging surveillance systems are that they are intuitive, adaptable, low-cost, and operated in real-time, all of which are necessary features of an effective public health tool. The most apparent potential challenges of the web-based systems are those of inaccurate interpretation and prediction of health status, and privacy issues, based on an individuals internet activity.

Despite being in a nascent stage with further modification needed, web-based surveillance systems have evolved to complement traditional national surveillance systems. This review highlights ways in which the strengths of existing systems can be maintained and weaknesses alleviated to implement optimal web surveillance systems.
Files in This Item:
Appears in Collections:
Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원)Dept. of Public Health (보건학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_보건학과)
  • mendeley

Items in S-Space are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.