GPHIN's mission is to be an indispensable source of early warning for potential public health threats worldwide including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN).
Because time is of the essence, the goal is to use leading-edge communications technology and automated processes on a real-time 24/7 basis complemented by human analysis to monitor media sources worldwide and provide organized, relevant information to users allowing them to respond to potential health threats in a timely manner.
GPHIN is a secure Internet-based 'early warning' system that gathers preliminary reports of public health significance on a near 'real-time', 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis. This unique multilingual system gathers and provides relevant unverified information on disease outbreaks and other public health events by monitoring global media sources in six languages, namely, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. This automated process, which includes the filtering for relevancy and categorizing of information is complemented by human analysis. News articles in English are posted in the system and 'translated' into the other five languages. News articles in any of the five non-English languages are posted in the system and 'translated' into English. The 'translation' is produced by an automated machine translation process, whose principle function is to provide the user with the message of the article and not a professionally translated version.
GPHIN has a broad public health scope. Presently, it tracks events such as disease outbreaks, infectious diseases, contaminated food and water, bioterrorism and exposure to chemicals, natural disasters, and issues related to the safety of products, drugs and medical devices and radioactive agents.
Users include non-governmental agencies and organizations, as well as government authorities who conduct public health surveillance. GPHIN is used by the global public health community in its efforts to minimize health risks by developing appropriate risk management, control and prevention measures and by timely and appropriate response.
GPHIN is managed by Health Canada's Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPR), which was created in July 2000 to serve as Canada's central coordinating point for public health security. It is considered a centre of expertise in the area of civic emergencies including natural disasters and malicious acts with health repercussions. CEPR offers a number of supports to municipalities, provinces and territories, and other partners involved in first response and public health security. This is achieved through its network of public health, emergency health services, and emergency social services contacts.
This multilingual early warning system was developed in collaboration with Nstein Technologies Inc. whose headquarters is in Montreal, Canada.
*A 30-day delay in using GPHIN information for dissemination by Universities / Research Institutions that are GPHIN subscribers.