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Getting Started with BioSense 2.0

What do I need to do to start participating in BioSense 2.0?

The first step in participating is completing a Data Use Agreement (DUA) with ASTHO. Under cooperative agreement with CDC, ASTHO hosts the BioSense 2.0 environment and facilitates the BioSense 2.0 Governance.  Please contact Scott Gordon ( at ASTHO to obtain a DUA to begin the process. 

How much will the new system cost my state or locality?

Jurisdictions may join BioSense 2.0 at no cost. Staff time will be necessary for the initial setup of BioSense 2.0 for tasks such as signing data use agreements and working with entities that will provide data to the system (e.g., hospitals, ambulatory care providers, etc.).


My jurisdiction has signed a DUA.  What are the next steps to participating?

BioSense 2.0 is committed to working directly with local and state health departments to expand the syndromic surveillance practice. The BioSense Program is happy to work with jurisdictions whether they exclusively utilize BioSense 2.0 or another system. Our technical team will take the direction from the state or local health department. If the state wants to utilize a vendor, the technical support team will work with the vendor and jurisdiction in unison. If the jurisdiction wants to direct hospitals to send data to their secure locker for data storage in the cloud exclusively, our technical support team will work to initiate or re-initiate feeds in that manner. The BioSense 2.0 system is agnostic to the origin of the feeds, as long as it is designated by the jurisdiction who has signed a Data Use Agreement (DUA) to participate.


Once the jurisdiction has signed the DUA, the BioSense 2.0 team will set up an introductory technical call, which outlines the types of data and the transmission mechanisms we offer (see table below). Once the jurisdiction informs us what their choices are, we work directly with the jurisdiction system, Health Information Exchange (HIE), hospitals, vendor, etc. to set up a connection from the site (including a previous system) to the BioSense 2.0 cloud environment, where the data goes directly into the jurisdiction’s private and secure locker space. Once connected, jurisdictions will have the ability to use analysis tools offered in the cloud, as well as participate in our sharing environment to communicate with other participating jurisdictions. They can also continue to do analysis on their data at their local servers using analysis tools they have developed or purchased at the jurisdiction level. The data is always theirs to own, and we will work with them the same way regardless of where the data originates from a jurisdiction server, vendor based system, hospital, HIE, etc.


  BioSense 2.0


Health Departments

(state, local, territorial, tribal)

Message Standards

flat file, XML, HL7, text file, relational

Transmission Standards

sFTP, HTTPS, PHIN MS, NwHIN Direct or CONNECT, Web Service, VPN


More information on the process can be found in the Onboarding Section. 

What are some of the features that make the BioSense 2.0 application’s data visualization capabilities different from other systems?

  • Easy-to-use interactive mapping and time series visualization tools.
  • At-a-glance dashboard functionality allows you to rapidly check your stats daily; rich visualization, sharing, discussion, and export tools allow you to take a deeper dive.
  • Animated views showing how syndromic activity changes over time.
What user types are available in the BioSense 2.0 application? 
  • Jurisdiction Administrator: This person (or multiple people) is assigned when the DUA is complete. They can approve users and set the sharing preferences for their appointed jurisdiction (or sub-jurisdiction, if a state or local chooses to delegate those powers).
  •  Epidemiologist: This is the most common user type.  Epi-level users can access the system and a level of aggregate data access to their jurisdiction’s data and other shared data. 
What happens if BioSense 2.0 makes a mistake and you issue a false alert?

The BioSense 2.0 application is intended primarily as a situational awareness tool. While the system will allow for automated, customized alerting based on user designated criteria, these alerts will serve as an entry point into the system for expert analysts. Analysts can then use BioSense 2.0 tools to examine the data with varying methodologies, create reports, and gain an overall situational awareness picture.


Who can help us with problems implementing and participating in BioSense 2.0?

Please send all questions, concerns, and suggestions to, and a team member will respond to your inquiry.