AgConnect® HealthNet

Principal Investigator(s): ,

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Overview

AgConnect® HealthNet is an Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD) led initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, that enables producers, veterinary practitioners, diagnostic laboratories, wildlife biologists and other data providers to participate in designing and piloting a surveillance system aimed at supporting their day-to-day activities while also strengthening disease detection and control efforts. To accomplish this, the AgConnect® HealthNet pilot project uses innovative technology platforms that:

  • Collects animal health information from participants in real-time
  • Provides the capability for this information to be analyzed for changes in the health status of animal populations that may signal an emerging disease concern or changes in endemic disease status
  • Allows producers and veterinarians to share this information with other participants in a secure, non-identifying format to improve animal health management at farm and industry levels and enable enhanced knowledge of disease events locally, regionally and nationally.

Project Goals and Outcomes: Participant and Industry Benefits

  • A sophisticated system that serves as a central point for multiple groups to collaborate and leverage their collective resources, facilitating access to critical, cutting-edge technologies to better asses animal health and inform decision-making
  • Industry specific customizations to: better manage operations, improve understanding and management of animal health/trends and facilitate business solutions
  • Facilitate information sharing and communication among stakeholders
  • Improve identification of trends, change in prevalence, geographic distribution of disease and anomalies, which will in turn assist in enhanced prevention, control and response to U.S. domestic livestock diseases
  • Improve rapid detection of emerging and foreign animal diseases
  • Contribute evidence/information for demonstrating positive animal health status, claims of disease freedom and identifying areas requiring more intensive surveillance during emergency events
  • Contribute to improved early detection and rapid response/control/ elimination of animal disease as well as support business continuity during such events

How It Works

Supporting Veterinarians and Producers: AgConnect® mHealth

  • Participants assist IIAD to develop customized applications to support the following industries: swine, mixed animal (cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs), wildlife, poultry, feedlot and dairy
  • IIAD works through industry-specific working groups to determine what type of information is useful to collect, what or when it is shared, and with whom
  • Apps can be used on Apple/Android devices, with or without internet connection
  • Producers and veterinarians capture information routinely collected on user-friendly interfaces
  • Data are automatically transferred to a secure server managed by IIAD
  • Producers and veterinarians can access, manage, and query all their reports and have access to analytical tools for supporting daily animal health management directly on their mobile devices
  • Producers and veterinarians can access anonymous, aggregated summary info of animal health from other participants

Supporting National Animal Health Surveillance: AgConnect® HealthNet Analyst Workstation

  • Agreed upon protocols allow user permissioned access, confidentiality/data protection and safe sharing of information for analysis This enables anonymous, aggregated data to be visualized in different formats (e.g. maps, graphs and tables), providing participants a geographical picture of animal health and disease events as they occur. This can be shared with state and/or federal animal health officials.
  • The analyst workstation allows a smaller portion of information (agreed upon by participants) to be available to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). During the project APHIS will use this permissioned anonymous aggregated information to evaluate if this type of surveillance system is of benefit to U.S. animal health programs and emergencies.
  • Epidemiologists can use automated anomaly detection algorithms in the analyst workstation to identify changes in the geographic distribution of animal health information that may indicate an emerging disease concern.
  • Producers and veterinarians will receive routine updates on disease trends in their area to help manage disease more effectively. Any follow-up communication and requests for additional information regarding anomalies detected in animal health trends will always be directed through the submitting participant.

Ready to Join?

AgConnect® HealthNet Participants: 

  • Provide input into the development of industry-specific mobile apps
  • Receive an iPad* and network service or use your own mobile device to report into the system using mobile apps customized for each industry
  • Obtain laboratory test credits* on samples that meet a specified case definition linked to surveillance reports
  • Receive useful data analyses to aid in daily animal health management
  • Connect to other veterinarians using the mobile app

*subject to funding availability

Resources