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Regenstrief scientists developing surveillance tool to show how the flu impacts Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Scientists at the Regenstrief Institute are collaborating with the Indiana Department of Health to create an in-depth data tracking system that monitors flu activity across the state.

By using information from electronic health records the monitoring system will identify hot spots, patterns of infection and groups being most affected at different times throughout the season. 

But the tool is designed to do more than just track activity. It’s designed to assess the impact the flu has on people throughout the state. 

“When we talk about influenza impact and the outcomes related to the impact we want to understand those individuals who are infected and what happens to them,” Dr. Shaun Grannis, vice president of data and analytics for the Regenstrief Institute, told News 8. “Did they go to their physician? Did they go to the ER? Did they go to the ICU? And we want to understand and look at severity and also understand the rates of mortality for influenza as well.”

Grannis says having comprehensive public health data like this better informs clinical care. Better clinical care then leads to better population health. 

Grannis also shares that the project is in the very early stages of development. The end goal, he says, is to provide doctors, public health policy makers and Hoosiers with the best data possible to keep Indiana healthy and safe.