Accenture gets Homeland security biosurveillance contract

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded Accenture Federal Services (NYSE: ACN) a $3 million, one-year contract to help the Office of Health Affairs enhance its biosurveillance capabilities using social media analytics. The project also will help improve data sharing and collaboration between OHA and its partners.

Accenture will work with OHA to develop a social media analytics pilot that will manage, link and analyze data from social media networks in real time to better inform and protect the public in the event of a national health emergency such as an infectious disease outbreak or a biological attack.

Biosurveillance is the monitoring of public health trends and unusual occurrences, relying on pre-existing, real-time health data data that is publicly available and easily obtained. Because of the vast amount of data and information available and readily shared through social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and the rapid pace information is shared, collecting and understanding information from these channels is critical.

Accenture will create a pilot program that will take data from social networking and social media sites to help OHA better predict, mitigate, protect citizens or respond to potential crises in real time.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Its home page is www.accenture.com.