The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)has awarded grants of $4.37m to enhance healthcare information management and improve the detection of and response to emerging public health threats.

The funding will be used for four new centres of excellence in public health informatics at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Indiana University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah, the CDC said.

The initiative aims to find strategies and tools that enhance the ability of health departments, physicians and other care providers to promote health and prevent diseases, injuries or disabilities.

Each centre of excellence will handle two new projects that support national priorities in informatics, the CDC said.

The centres will access data from hospitals and healthcare systems in major metropolitan areas across the country for real-time biosurveillance of potential health threats.