Discussants noted several creative responses to resource challenges, including the use of cell phones to improve communication in remote areas as more countries invest in cell phone technology. By applying such innovative solutions to known obstacles, existing disease surveillance systems have the virtue of some flexibility. On the other hand, though, many seemed to agree that “we have to go beyond just sending out alerts and receiving signals and learn how to put people in touch with each other.” New technologies and Internet tools may make significant improvements possible, but “what we really need is information, usable information.” In the end, one participant noted that it will be key to identify the critical priorities. The existing networks prove that disease surveillance is clearly achievable if it becomes a priority within the broader context of disease prevention, response, and control.

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