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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Preparedness in the digital age

In 2006, ASPR was created; the following year, the first generation iPhone was born. In the years that followed Americans increasingly have sought out information digitally. As technology has evolved so, too, have ASPR’s efforts to put up-to-date, useful information in your hands to help our nation prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.

One year ago, ASPR launched its Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange so that health and emergency management professionals have quick access to the best information possible to make plans that can be used to protect health and save lives during disasters. Through this online resource, users have submitted more than 850 requests for technical assistance, and nearly 2,000 members have accessed its peer-to-peer information exchange. In 2015, ASPR also launched the emPOWER Initiative to help emergency managers better plan for the medical needs of residents who rely on electricity dependent medical devices because these devices can fail during long power outages. This initiative also can be used in compliance with federal privacy laws to help emergency responders locate vulnerable residents during disasters and save lives.

If a radiological or chemical disaster occurs clinicians will need to evaluate patients accurately in order to triage and treat them appropriately and efficiently. Because many first responders may lack expertise in radiological and chemical emergencies, ASPR collaborated with the subject matter experts from the National Cancer Institute and information technology experts from the National Library of Medicine to develop online resources to bridge this knowledge gap.

Today, these tools are available online. As new technologies are developed, ASPR will continue to seek ways to best leverage those capabilities to better ensure our nation’s health security.

Digital CollaborationAnticipating Medical NeedsRadiation and Chemical IncidentsBiorisk Management Communications

  • This page last reviewed: December 13, 2016