European surveillance system on occupational and non-occupational allergens
The ESSCA continually monitors and analyses pooled data of substances causing contact dermatitis across Europe. They make recommendations concerning primary prevention based on sound scientific knowledge concerning the frequency of allergen exposure in the population.
The work of ESSCA can be divided into a technical part – an application of medical informatics – and a scientific part. The former includes the following:
- Local interfaces for export of uniformly structured data for pooled analysis in those departments continuing to use their existing – heterogeneous – software.
- Availability of a multilingual patch test software “WinAlldat/ESSCA” (see reference)
- A coordinating data centre (see SOP for data management)
The scientific work includes first group analysis of pooled data (as a first step towards continuous surveillance), internal reporting and discussion of data during workshops.