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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):783-6. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M2731. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

Development of grid-like applications for public health using Web 2.0 mashup techniques.

Author information

1
Yale Center for Medical Informatics, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA 06511, USA. matthew.scotch@yale.edu

Abstract

Development of public health informatics applications often requires the integration of multiple data sources. This process can be challenging due to issues such as different file formats, schemas, naming systems, and having to scrape the content of web pages. A potential solution to these system development challenges is the use of Web 2.0 technologies. In general, Web 2.0 technologies are new internet services that encourage and value information sharing and collaboration among individuals. In this case report, we describe the development and use of Web 2.0 technologies including Yahoo! Pipes within a public health application that integrates animal, human, and temperature data to assess the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks. The results of development and testing suggest that while Web 2.0 applications are reasonable environments for rapid prototyping, they are not mature enough for large-scale public health data applications. The application, in fact a "systems of systems," often failed due to varied timeouts for application response across web sites and services, internal caching errors, and software added to web sites by administrators to manage the load on their servers. In spite of these concerns, the results of this study demonstrate the potential value of grid computing and Web 2.0 approaches in public health informatics.

PMID:
18755998
PMCID:
PMC2585536
DOI:
10.1197/jamia.M2731
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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