JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
A multidisciplinary journal that focuses on the intersection of public health and technology, public health informatics, mass media campaigns, surveillance, participatory epidemiology, and innovation in public health practice and research.
JMIR Public Health & Surveillance (JPHS, Editor-in-chief: Travis Sanchez, Emory University/Rollins School of Public Health) is a sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), the top cited journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2015: 4.532). JPH is a multidisciplinary journal with a unique focus on the intersection of innovation and technology in public health, and includes topics like health communication, public health informatics, surveillance, participatory epidemiology, infodemiology and infoveillance, digital disease detection, digital public health interventions, mass media/social media campaigns, and emerging population health analysis systems and tools.
We publish regular articles, reviews, protocols/system descriptions and viewpoint papers on all aspects of public health, with a focus on innovation and technology in public health.
Apart from publishing traditional public health research and viewpoint papers as well as reports from traditional surveillance systems, JPH was one of the first (if not the only) peer-reviewed journal which publishes papers with surveillance or pharmacovigilance data from non-traditional, unstructured big data and text sources such as social media and the Internet (infoveillance, digital disease detection), or reports on novel participatory epidemiology projects, where observations are solicited from the public.
Among other innovations, JPH is also dedicated to support rapid open data sharing and rapid open access to surveillance and outbreak data. As one of the novel features we plan to publish rapid or even real-time surveillance reports and open data. The methods and description of the surveillance system may be peer-reviewed and published only once in detail, in a "baseline report" (in a JMIR Res Protoc or a JMIR Public Health & Surveill paper), and authors then have the possibility to publish data and reports in frequent intervals rapidly and with only minimal additional peer-review (we call this article type "Rapid Surveillance Reports"). JMIR Publications may even work with authors/researchers and developers of selected surveillance systems on APIs for semi-automated reports (e.g. weekly reports to be automatically published in JPHS and indexed in PubMed, based on data-feeds from surveillance systems and minmal narratives and abstracts).
Furthermore, duing epidemics and public health emergencies, submissions with critical data will be processed with expedited peer-review to enable publication within days or even in real-time.
We also publish descriptions of open data resources and open source software. Where possible, we can and want to publish or even host the actual software or dataset on the journal website.
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Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:View All Open Peer Review Articles
Health information seeking on the Internet among sexual minority people in the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
Date Submitted: Feb 16, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Feb 21, 2017 - Mar 7, 2017
Background: Background. Individuals who face barriers to healthcare are more likely to access the Internet for health information seeking. Pervasive stigma and heterosexism in the healthcare setting a...
Background: Background. Individuals who face barriers to healthcare are more likely to access the Internet for health information seeking. Pervasive stigma and heterosexism in the healthcare setting are barriers to healthcare for sexual minority people (SMP); therefore SMP may be more likely to use the internet as a source of health and cancer-related information compared to heterosexual people (HP). Currently there is a dearth of published empirical evidence concerning health information seeking on the Internet among SMP, the current project addresses this gap. Objective: Currently there is a dearth of published empirical evidence  concerning health information seeking and exposure to health information on the Internet among SMP as compared to heterosexual people (HP). The current project addresses this gap. Our purpose was to determine the rates at which SMP use the Internet to seek health information, to describe incidental media exposure, and estimate how SMP use the Internet for seeking health information compared to HP. We hypothesized that SMP would report higher use of the Internet for health information seeking than HP and that SMP incidental exposure would be similar to HP. Methods: Methods. Data from the 2015 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) FDA Cycle were used to describe and summarize health information seeking among SMP (n=103) and heterosexual people (HP; n=1443). Results. More SMP in this sample reported having access to the Internet (92.4%) than HP (79.4%; p=.001). SMP used the internet for a broad range of health information seeking activities. SMP people were equally as likely as HP (59% vs 58%) to report unintentional exposure to health information while online. Conclusion. SMP are a difficult-to-reach population that experience significant health disparities. Our findings confirm that SMP access the Internet at high rates and seek out health information online. This suggests that online interventions could be valuable for delivering health promoting interventions for SMP. Results: Results. More SMP in this sample reported having access to the Internet (92.4%) than HP (79.4%; p=.001). SMP used the internet for a broad range of health information seeking activities. SMP people were equally as likely as HP (59% vs 58%) to report unintentional exposure to health information while online. Conclusions: Conclusion. SMP are a difficult-to-reach population that experience significant health disparities. Our findings confirm that SMP access the Internet at high rates and seek out health information online. This suggests that online interventions could be valuable for delivering health promoting interventions for SMP.
A techno-health approach to participatory community-based One Health disease surveillance in pastoral communities of East Africa
Date Submitted: Jan 20, 2017
Open Peer Review Period: Jan 20, 2017 - Mar 17, 2017
We describe development and initial achievements of a participatory disease surveillance system that relies on mobile technology to promote community level One Health security in Africa. The objective...
We describe development and initial achievements of a participatory disease surveillance system that relies on mobile technology to promote community level One Health security in Africa. The objective of this system, Enhancing Community-Based Disease Outbreak Detection and Response in East and Southern Africa (DODRES), is to empower community-based human and animal health reporters with training and Information Communication and Technology (ICT)-based solutions to contribute to disease detection and response, thereby complementing strategies to improve the efficiency of infectious disease surveillance at national, regional and global levels. Formal discussions on the use of digital technology to develop a Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease surveillance (SACIDS) participatory surveillance system began at EpiHack™ Tanzania in 2014. This event was attended by human and animal health experts as well as ICT programmers who collaborated to identify major challenges facing early detection, timely reporting, and prompt response to disease events. This was followed by a project inception workshop in August 2015, which brought together key stakeholders, including policy makers and community representatives, to refine the objectives and implementation plan of the DODRES project. Supported by Skoll Global Threats Fund and building on previous initiatives, four prototype technical solutions were developed by a dedicated design and implementation team and, after testing, three functional versions of these prototypes-- packaged together as the “AfyaData” app were adopted by SACIDS to support One Health disease surveillance. Community Health Reporters (CHRs) and officials from animal and human health sectors in Morogoro and Ngorongoro districts in Tanzania were trained to use the AfyaData app and participate in DODRES. The AfyaData tools support near- to real-time data collection and submission at both community and health facility levels as well as the provision of feedback to reporters. A One Health Knowledge Repository application (OHKR) has also been integrated into the AfyaData app to provide health information on case definitions of disease syndromes of humans and animals and to synthesize advice that can be transmitted to CHRswith “next step” response activities or interventions. Additionally, a WhatsAppsocial platform was developed to sustain interactions between community members, local government officials and DODRES team members. Within the first five months (August-December 2016) of AfyaData tool deployment in the field, a total number of 1,915 clinical cases in livestock (1,816) and humans (99) were reported in Morogoro Urban (83) and Ngorongoro (1,832) districts. These initial results suggest that the DODRES community-level model creates an opportunity for One Health engagement of people in their own communities in the detection of infectious human and animal disease threats. Participatory approaches supported by digital and mobile technologies should be promoted for early disease detection, timely reporting, and prompt response at the community, national, regional, and global levels.