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Hong Kong Policing Disease
Institution: Health, Welfare and Food Bureau, Hong Kong
Hospital Authority, Hong Kong
Theme: Public Safety and Law Enforcement
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 2003
Summary: In March 2003, a highly infectious disease caused by an unknown virus broke out in Hong Kong. The World Health Organisation (WHO) termed this new disease Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS in short. SARS soon became a major threat to international public health and safety. To bring the outbreak under control, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region instituted a comprehensive range of public health measures. With no time to devise a new IT system, existing computer systems in the Department of Health, the Hospital Authority and the Hong Kong Police Force were brought together to combat the infection under a joint project called “Policing Disease”.
Policing Disease is a new paradigm that leverages advances in criminal data analysis, to process information from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) victims, and allows immediate actions. Timely analysis using the system (over 20,000 records) allowed rapid identification of transmission points and a coordinated multidisciplinary response (police, health and environmental experts) enabled prompt remedial measures. The speed and scope of this action allowed effective containment of SARS in Hong Kong preventing a global epidemic
Impact: The SARS outbreak was controlled within a relatively short period with the assistance of Policing Disease. The re-tuning to utilize such system in the alternative areas as shown in the case of "Policing Disease" as in Hong Kong is both feasible and worthwhile.
Source: Stockholm Challenge Award
Project Home URL: http://www.hwfb.gov.hk/policingdisease/SARS-b.htm

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