BioSense Platform

What to know

The BioSense Platform is a cloud-based early detection and monitoring system that helps the public health community protect Americans from injuries, emerging diseases, and environmental disasters. This investment in syndromic surveillance can improve readiness and response to health threats.

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A shared resource

NSSP supports syndromic surveillance practice through the BioSense Platform, a secure integrated electronic health information system. Standardized analytic tools and processes enable the public health community to detect, characterize, monitor, and respond to events of concern.

Data are collected in near real-time and available in the platform as early as 24 hours after a patient’s visit to a participating facility.

Quick link‎

Registered users can access BioSense Platform tools through the Access & Management Center.

The BioSense Platform is a product of CDC, but it’s a shared resource. Facilities and vendors that submit data play a key role. Users who access data are equally important. Helping manage all this are site administrators—the public health authority liaisons who help connect users and data-submitting organizations with NSSP.

Site administrators provide access, set up data data-sharing rules, onboard new facilities and conduct surveillance activities. They also inform users of new program guidance, publications, and tools.

BioSense Platform tools

The BioSense Platform tools support syndromic surveillance practice for analysts, epidemiologists, and others across all levels of public health. The platform hosts web-based tools for advanced analytics and visualizations, data sharing and integration.

Access is provided through site administrators. Reach out to them directly if you can. Another option is to contact your state or local health department or email us at


ESSENCE allows users to collaborate; investigate changes in trends; and analyze, visualize and share data.  The tool—also known as the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community based Epidemics—helps operationalize the public health surveillance workflow.

Get ESSENCE guides and other resources.

Posit Workbench/RStudio and SAS Studio

Posit Workbench lets users access and analyze SQL data stored on the BioSense Platform. Posit is the tool formerly known as RStudio. Activities include validating data within the archive (raw, processed, and exceptions tables), confirming information in the Master Facility Table, and extracting data directly from ESSENCE using an application programming interface.

SAS Studio is a customizable, web browser-based interface for advanced analytics and visualization of complex data.

Get Posit Workbench and SAS Studio guides and other resources.

NSSP Dashboards and Visualizations

The following dashboards are available in the BioSense Platform:

  • Coronavirus Exploratory Dashboard
  • Jurisdictional Data Quality Dashboard
  • Jurisdictional Data Quality Dashboard (Onboarding)
  • Jurisdictional Data Quality Dashboard v2
  • Laboratory Data Quality Dashboard

NSSP PRESS is also available, a tool that enables dynamic sharing of information between NSSP and sites.

Data interoperability

The BioSense Platform has been built on NSSP’s commitment to data interoperability. We want to ensure information is shared appropriately between health care and public health partners in the right format, through the right channel, at the right time. We encourage users to follow the same standards and processes and, in many instances, use the same tools to collect, analyze, and transmit data.

NSSP participants play a key role in setting up and maintaining high-quality data feeds. They follow syndromic surveillance messaging specifications, available on the NSSP Onboarding Resources page, to ensure adherence to Public Health Information Network standards. Most follow the rules set up by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to incentivize the use of electronic health records.


The BioSense Platform evolved in response to congressional mandates in the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-188.