The Biosurveillance Common Operating Network (BCON) (formerly named National Biosurveillance Integration System (NBIS) 2.0) is an information technology (IT) system developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Health Affairs (OHA) to provide comprehensive, integrated biosurveillance situational awareness as part of a national interagency effort. It integrates real-time biosurveillance data from multiple federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to rapidly identify and characterize a bioterrorist attack.
The purpose of BCON is to provide a biosurveillance integration system that enables two-way flow of information to integrate the areas of human, animal, and plant health surveillance, environmental monitoring of air, agriculture, water, and food, and intelligence to accomplish the following DHS objectives:
- Early recognition,
- Situational awareness to guide response,
- Real-time integration of biosurveillance data with threat information through partnering With federal agencies,
- Repository for reference databases.
Pursuant to Presidential Directives HSPD-9 and HSPD-10, the DHS initiated the NBIS program to support the administration's biodefense policy objectives, requiring DHS and other departments and agencies to, among other activities, coordinate national biosurveillance capabilities. The BCON system is currently being developed to provide the National Operations Center (NOC) and the Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG) with a capability for early recognition of a biological attack or biological outbreak. NBIS 2.0 provides coordination with other federal departments and agencies. In creating a new biological threat awareness capability to enhance detection and characterization of an attack, which may possibly include nuclear, radiological and public health concerns as well.
BCON Will eventually integrate as many as 120 data streams from individual, mostly unrelated systems including open source news feeds and systems managed by partnering federal agencies. NBIS 2.0 will receive frequent data updates from these sources and fuse them to provide a biosurveillance common operating picture (BCOP), and enable members of the National Biosurveillance Group (NBSG) to perform detailed analyses using cutting-edge detection and characterization algorithms. The system provides a platform for communication and collaboration when potential events are identified and response scenarios are created. The system functionality include the ability to view and manipulate visual analytics snapshots that capture a set of data and visualizations (bar graph, scatter plot, etc.) related to a specific analysis performed by the NBIS analyst. The system will also incorporate Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping functionality, including the ability to create and save meaningful map views of source data along With other appropriate layer data (e.g., road networks, water features, etc.).