GIS Health News Weekly: CDC, Repository, Mobile Medicine


Health Data Management is on a role with GIS articles. There were two this week.

One profiled the use of GIS at the Centers for Disease Control. Of note:

The CDC primarily relies on ESRI software, but has incorporated GIS software from other sources as well, including Google and QGIS, a free, open source application ( formerly known as Quantum GIS.

A second looks at why GIS is not well established in health care. Carl Kinkade, geospatial information system specialist at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, explains why:

Success often comes down to one person Is there a go-getter? If a group really shines, it’s often one person driving it.

Spatial Data Repository: World Health Data for Download

The Spatial Data Repository provides geographically-linked health and demographic data from The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program and the U.S. Census Bureau for mapping in a geographic information system (GIS). It offers customized national or subnational data on HIV/AIDS, fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender, malaria, nutrition, and population projections. Word on Twitter is there's some new data, but I can't tell what data. This site looks like a good candidate for an Esri Open Data Initiative implementation.

Healthy People in Healthy Communities Recap

Here's a press release recap of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health's Healthy People in Healthy Communities held March 3-5. The conference theme was children’s health in the community. Among the topics represented: GIS. Esri held a half day workshop before the main conference.

Report: Consumers Want to Share Health Data

The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) report  report, titled "Personal Data for the Public Good: New Opportunities to Enrich Understanding of Individual and Population Health,” supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, suggests that many people who track health-related data with wearable devices and smartphone apps are interested in sharing that data with researchers in medical and public health. The limiting factor: adequate privacy controls exist.

Poor Health stems from Geography

The National Health Performance Authority in Australia looked at recent data and found that rural people die years earlier on average, and suffer higher rates of preventable hospitalisation and even death. National Rural Health Alliance chief executive Gordon Gregory points to two aspects that may or may not be relate to poverty: distance to large cities and town size. Among the efforts of the Authority: reclassifying places to better reflect need.

Mobile and Remote Patient Access are Promising

A new study from the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution looks at health care delivery in the U.S. and China, both of which have scale and cost issues. The study of how each is using technology like mobility and remote patient access suggests promissing results. Mobile apps and mobile monitoring mean fewer two hour car trips and a feeling of safety among patients living in rural areas. One challenge: a reluctance among policymakers to reimburse doctors for interacting with patients remotely.

Published Friday, March 14th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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