SAIC to support federal biosurveillance program

Science Applications International Corp. won two contracts with a total value of $68.4 million to help implement and support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's BioSense national syndromic surveillance program.

BioSense charts incoming health data about current patient symptoms from numerous military and Veterans Affairs hospitals to identify spikes of activity that might signal a disease cluster outbreak or bioterrorism attack.

The surveillance program?which chronicles symptoms such as breathing difficulties and high fever?is intended to provide an earlier warning of possible public health threats than do traditional disease reporting systems.

Under the new contract, San Diego-based SAIC will add additional feeds to BioSense from state and local providers.

"Over the next 33 months, SAIC expects to implement over 120 BioSense 'data feeds' that can provide the national coverage necessary to detect and characterize a possible bio-terrorist and/or natural health threat," David Groves, SAIC vice president for public health informatics, said in a news release. "This data will come from major health-care providers and other health-related data sources, including pharmacies and medical laboratories nationwide."

SAIC received two contracts for BioSense. The first is a time-and-materials contract for software development and technical support, with a base year worth $7.3 million and two option years worth $8.7 million each. The second contract is a cost-plus-fixed-fee award to implement the data feeds to BioSense with a ceiling value of $34 million.

Subcontractors include First Consulting Group, Falls Church, Va.; McKesson Corp., Alpharetta, Ga.; and Healthcare Enterprise Innovations, Arlington, Va., which will work with volunteer health-care organizations to enable them to transmit health monitoring data to the CDC.

Research and engineering firm SAIC has more than 42,000 employees and annual sales of $7.2 billion. The company ranks No. 3 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list that measures federal contracting revenue.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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