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Lab Information Systems at CDC

August 27, 2009

On Tuesday Dr. John Nkengasong from the CDC gave an overview of the activities of the International Laboratory Branch of the Global AIDS Program in the Centers for Disease Control. The video is here.

Dr. Nkengasong is the CDC representative for one of the class projects focused on lab information systems. Students who choose this project will work with Drs. Nkengasong and Vempala, as well as student Ruban Monu to conceptualize and develop an automated system to track and manage all specimens collected and overseen by CDC testing labs in 70 countries worldwide (over 1500 labs).

Currently used is a paper monitoring system, the inherent inefficiencies of which frequently result in mismatched or delayed test results. The system would improve accuracy, speed of assistance and increase the number of specimens able to be handled.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Hee Young Jeong permalink
    September 3, 2009 4:29 pm

    The most interesting thing in this project is that there are lots of collaborative relationships between many labs that have different physical and cultural background. Before I saw the picture about current paper monitoring system, I did not realize how inefficient that system is. I think that this project really considers computing for good because of two reasons. First, by developing the computing system, we can improve the global AIDS management status and help the patients. Second, our system also provides an effective communication channel by facilitating complex workflows among various stakeholders spread all over the world, and makes them feel engaged.

  2. Ruban Monu permalink
    September 3, 2009 6:18 pm

    That is very true. The CDC labs/clinics spread across different countries in Africa vary with respect to the tests and specimen types handled, equipment used, as well as internet connectivity. Hence, the focus is on creating a customizable system that enables each set of labs to specify their own tests, specimen types, equipment, and works equally well for labs that do not have constant internet connection.

    Enhancements to the PHP, MySQL based prototype are on based on the continuous feedback/comments being received from the target laboratories.

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