AEGIS: a robust and scalable real-time public health surveillance system

J Am Med Inform Assoc. Sep-Oct 2007;14(5):581-8. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M2342. Epub 2007 Jun 28.


In this report, we describe the Automated Epidemiological Geotemporal Integrated Surveillance system (AEGIS), developed for real-time population health monitoring in the state of Massachusetts. AEGIS provides public health personnel with automated near-real-time situational awareness of utilization patterns at participating healthcare institutions, supporting surveillance of bioterrorism and naturally occurring outbreaks. As real-time public health surveillance systems become integrated into regional and national surveillance initiatives, the challenges of scalability, robustness, and data security become increasingly prominent. A modular and fault tolerant design helps AEGIS achieve scalability and robustness, while a distributed storage model with local autonomy helps to minimize risk of unauthorized disclosure. The report includes a description of the evolution of the design over time in response to the challenges of a regional and national integration environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bioterrorism*
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Computer Systems
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Public Health Informatics*