GIS Health News Weekly: Tackling US Super Users, Smoking Visibility in NZ, Growing Marijuana in Canada

Tackling Health Services Super Users with GIS

Speaking at the State Healthcare IT Connect Summit in Baltimore on April 2, Mike Powell, chief innovation officer of Maryland, said the state spends a lot of money on people who are hospitalized for conditions that could have been prevented. 
To curb those costs, Powell said Maryland uses data gathered by the state health information exchange and GIS tools from ESRI to help health system, Medicaid and public health officials identify trends and better target their limited resources.
Part of the impact has to do with a redefinition of Medicare "success" being based on health of the population vs. services delivered. Still, looking for and tackling local "problem areas" can be effective.
Boulder has Lowest Obesity Rate in the Country (Again)
The latest  Gallup/Healthways obesity study of U.S. cities is out. Boulder, Colo., has the lowest obesity rate in the nation, at 12.4%. It's held that title many times since the study began in 2008. The Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio are holds the opposite title: the most likely to be obese at 39.5%. I found lots of lists but no maps.
Mapping Marijuana Growers in Canada
This map suggests one of the challenges in managing medical marijuana growers: governments get post box locations, not growing locations on file.

This interactive map shows where the 12 licensed manufacturers are located. Many of the addresses here are P.O. box numbers provided to Health Canada, and they may not be the actual location of a marijuana grow-op.

I'm watching with interest as we move to medical marijuana here in Massachusetts.

Landscape Ecology Methods Used to Tackle Public Smoking

Researchers at the University of Otago say they’ve mapped the “visibility of smoking” on the streets of Wellington, observing some 2,600 townspeople in their native environments — outdoor bars and cafes. Sixteen percent of those drinking and dining al fresco, visible to scientists creeping along a nearby footpath, were seen smoking cigarettes in research vaguely reminiscent of Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees.

The idea is to document visibility and explore its relationship to continued smoking in the country. US and Canadian bans on smoking, along with limited visibility of it on US TV seems to be impacting smoking rates in those countries.

Measles Travels to Canada

The Globe and Mail offers a story map of the spread of measles to Canada. The maps are based on Google's maps.

Measles in Washington State

The Kings of Leon concert on March 28 in Seattle is where many people may have been exposed to measles as a concert goer had it, but didn't know it. The Washington State Department of Health has published the unidentified woman's schedule online (pdf) to help identify those who might need to check on immunizations or get medical attention. I wonder if a map would have been more valuable or more viewed?

How to Transport Patients

University of Cincinnati research is offering hospitals and trauma centers a unique, accurate and scientific approach to making decisions about transporting critical-care patients by air or by ambulance. 

A presentation at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Tampa, presents early findings that show GIS is a valuable tool to estimate transport times to trauma centers.

Published Friday, April 11th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

Published in

Esri Technology


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