CDC app will track injury and violent death trends

Thomas Hecker/

Agency's third public-facing app will let users create custom reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded a 3-year contract to BNL Consulting on Monday to build a tablet and smartphone application that allow users to parse through state and national data on injuries and violent deaths, contracting documents show.

The application will essentially be a mobile version of the CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, or WISQARS, through which researchers and the public can create custom reports on everything from “years of potential life lost” due to motorcycle crashes in New Jersey to the trend for annual number of dog bites in Nebraska.

WISQARS is also maintained by BNL. CDC awarded the $285,000 mobile contract to the company rather than offering it as a competitive solicitation because of BNL’s prior knowledge and experience with the system and because training another contractor for the work would be “very long and tedious,” according to the award.

WISQARS is a homonym for “whiskers.” The website logo is a black and white long-whiskered tiger that winks and wrinkles its nose. 

CDC has produced two other public-facing mobile applications. One is an eponymous application that offers basic information about epidemiology, environmental health and other topics. The other is a mobile guide for emergency medical workers on guidelines for field triage of injured patients.

Federal agencies have produced more than 120 mobile applications since early 2010 as part of a plan to make government information and services more accessible to the public. 

(Image via Thomas Hecker/