With projects ranging from safer Web browsing to a 21st century air traffic control system, federal, state, and local agencies demonstrate that they, too, can apply IT in critical and novel ways.
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In the face of fast-spreading health hazards -- H1N1, salmonella, seasonal flu -- the timely distribution of preventive and other information is critical. With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed an API that hastens the sharing of its information with other health organizations, including public health departments and educational institutions. The CDC's Content API pipes health and safety information directly to websites such as Flu.gov, FDA.gov and FoodSafety.gov.
In one example of how that API works, more than 100 pages of H1N1-related content were shared with Flu.gov. This type of syndicated information sharing, while good business practice during the best of times, becomes critically important during public health emergencies.