The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded Accenture Federal Services a $3 million, one-year contract to help the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) 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. The Office of Health Affairs is responsible for providing health and medical expertise to prepare for, respond to and recover from any hazard impacting the nation’s health security, including biological threats. “Social media platforms are now an everyday part of peoples’ lives, finding their way into all forms of communication. Rapidly collecting and understanding what information is being shared will help OHA meet its mission to detect and respond to potential threats to national health security,” said John Matchette, who leads Accenture’s Public Safety agency work. Accenture has worked with the Department of Homeland Security since its establishment in 2001. Learn more about Accenture’s work with federal agencies, our global Defense and Public Safety practice, and Delivering Public Service of the Future. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 257,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US $27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.