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Technological Advances for The Future of Epidemiology

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Epidemiology is the study of the surveillance of disease and public health threats and the awareness to the public to maintain health and safety. Surveillance is important to obtain data, perform statistical analysis, and determine the seriousness and prevalence. From there, appropriate measures can be taken in order to provide solutions and control the disease. 

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The areas of this field vary though; there is monitoring of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, chronic diseases, similar to diabetes, and environmental outcomes that could stem from pollution. This field has continued to grow and been brought a lot of attention this past year with the downfall of COVID-19. An aspect of growth has to do with the technology involved and how it promotes change. Through the use of current technology and the expansion it upholds, the field of epidemiology will experience change and impact society by looking into how data will be collected and inserted into databases.

Data collected from surveillance is entered into a database to become assessable to researchers or the public in the form as electronic health records. A lot of this data is initially entered and passed on through various health-care providers to local health departments to make its way up the chain. Looking at environmental epidemiology, new technologies are ready to be used to make reporting easier and more assessable. Sensors along with satellites can be implemented to track air pollutants and detect exposure. One type of sensor is a personal sensor that can be connected to a smartphone app to track personal data such as one’s heart rate or blood chemistry and compare it to the environment; this could be widely available if made cheaper. These aforementioned technologies already exist to some extent but are in need of upgrades to refine its quality of resolution and need to be increased in numbers. The potential of “smart cities” is amongst us with city, car, and home sensors.

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With these increases in technology and the future it holds, Lau et al. has concerns about the field and upcoming epidemiologists. If technology can collect data, perform an analysis, and be readily available, that can take away substantial skills and knowledge that professionals will no longer rely on as much. One skill, in particular, is communication. Lack of communication limits creativity in knowledge and thus hinders the expertise of upcoming professionals. In addition, limited communication often leads to misinformation and false claims. Continuous training is essential to apply one’s career for better interpretation of the surveillance data presented. These technological advances with databases appear promising but leave behind a negative impact that will have to be accounted for. 

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Technological Advances for the Future of Epidemiology. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 4, 2023, from
“Technological Advances for the Future of Epidemiology.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022,
Technological Advances for the Future of Epidemiology. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Jun. 2023].
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