The Wildlife Health Intelligence Platform : Data management for the modern world.
The CWHC National Office leads the organization’s health information management efforts through the development and maintenance of a world-class database system for wildlife health surveillance; the Wildlife Health Intelligence Platform (WHIP). This system provides real-time data to the CWHC network and allows regional centres and the national office to perform queries on historical and current wildlife health data to look for trends and signals that could identify emerging issues. WHIP is also used by several organizations around the world, including the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC), the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative (NWDC), in the United States, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
To help establish national wildlife health surveillance systems in Southeast Asia under a One Health approach WCS is using WHIP for data management .This international effort in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, was launched in 2018. Synchronizing work with an international group like the WCS and adapting WHIP to meet specific needs highlighted the potential WHIP could have in addressing national and regional One Health data management needs. Data management is core to standing up effective national wildlife health surveillance systems, which are needed to complement existing public health and domestic animal surveillance. WCS has facilitated the integration of data management into the creation of national wildlife health surveillance policies formulated by government agencies and other stakeholders and developed local capacity in its use.
The expertise that WCS has provided in planning out this process and making modifications to WHIP stand to benefit both current and/or future users of the platform, depending on their specific data management requirements. This capacity comes from the extensive experience in planning and coordinating projects on this scale and large-scale data management capacity that WCS team members have. The CWHC is currently engaged in a major set of customizations for WCS which will include the WCS instance of WHIP becoming integrated with a third-party application (SMART) and become more aligned with their data collection and reporting requirements. Additional scheduled customizations will contribute to providing greater flexibility in the types of data hosted by WHIP, accommodating greater variety of research projects, study designs, or sample types for WHIP users.
Any time we integrate an external organization into our data management platform, we are given an opportunity to review our own internal processes and learn lessons from the way that other organizations operate. This is also true in the opposite direction, with CWHC’s decades-long data management experience being a valuable resource for those organizations. This two-way benefit is a truly unique opportunity that is afforded us by collaborating around a common technological solution and it is our ambition to make the system as broadly useful as possible to a wider array of users. We are working closely with the WCS to realize the full potential of WHIP and are looking at a variety of different options for how it could be operationalized on a larger scale.