For many years, concerns about bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases have drawn attention to the need for strong surveillance systems. Experts are working to develop new and better ways to detect these biological threats as quickly as possible. One effort in this area is the Department of Homeland Security's BioWatch program.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the BioWatch program, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) convened the Committee on Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System. This interim report contains no findings and recommendations, but outlines the committee's initial progress.