GIS Health News Weekly: Children’s National Health System, Obesity, Location Intelligence

US Obesity 2013 from Gallup
Gallup's State of the States offers the latest data on obesity and other diseases by state. (right)
Mississippi had the highest obesity rate in the U.S. in 2013, at 35.4%, while Montana has the lowest rate, at 19.6%. The obesity rate has generally increased across the U.S. each year since 2008.
And, there seems to be a correlation between obesity and chronic disease.
Those living in the 10 states with the highest levels of obesity are more likely to report having had a diagnosis of chronic disease at some point in their lives, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, diabetes, cancer, and heart attacks, than are those living in the 10 states with the lowest obesity rates. 

Children’s National Health System Success with GIS

An article on Children’s National Health System reveals why GIS is not widely used in health care.

Although GIS technology itself is mature, there are many reasons why it has yet to become part of the mainstream technologies in acute and ambulatory care delivery. Challenges include patient privacy, availability of relevant data that is easily mapped, and a daunting number of options in how to embed spatial coordinates into health data.

The article also talks of a success story on trying to limit burns.

 “When we drilled down in the data, we figured out most of the problems came from thermal burns caused by a water heater being set too high,” Jacobs says. Fed by EHR data, color-coded maps revealed that the majority of cases originated in a handful of Hispanic neighborhoods. As a result, Children’s partnered with the District of Columbia’s Office on Latino Affairs to circulate handouts describing simple prevention tips. “We significantly reduced the number of thermal burns coming to the ED,” Jacobs says. “It was very effective.”

The article is one of very few that note that Esri is a not-for-profit. The article also uses the term "geospatial" nine times. 

Small Time Pharmacy Uses GIS to Drive Sales

Joe DiMatteo, owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Oakmont and Penn Hills, PA was having trouble competing with chain drug stores. So he turned to 4CTechnologies in Wilkinsburg who did some analysis and learned about his potential customers: ""Rust Belt retirees," people who are deeply invested in their communities and have lived there a long time."

With that information in hand DiMatteo  started a coupon program for the two pharmacies and is looking to begin hosting community seminars in the spring.
Access to Diabetes Resources in New York
Bad news for the distribution of diabetes prevention sites in New York from a CDC sponsored study:
Although approximately 80.0% of New York’s population resides within a 30-minute drive time to a Diabetes Prevention Program site; most people living in 10 of the counties with the highest prediabetes risk-factor score live at a distance beyond a 30-minute drive to an existing site.
But good news is ahead:
The New York State Department of Health has used information from GIS analysis to identify areas with limited access to DPPs and encourage key partners to locate programs in community-based organizations serving at-risk populations. 
New Edition of Health GIS Tutorial
GIS Tutorial for Health, fifth edition, teaches GIS and analysis skills to health professionals and students. Using health-care scenarios, the book demonstrates how to process and visualize health data to better manage services and support health-care policy. 
GIS Tutorial for Health includes lessons and exercises on mapping basics, including creating map layers, editing features, and using spatial data. The fifth edition is compatible with ArcGIS® 10.2 for Desktop. Exercise data is available for downloaded. Instructor resources are available separately.
It'll be available April 10 from Esri Press.
Environmental Health GIS PhD Studentship at Leeds University


Project Title:  Development and evaluation of environmental interventions on green space utilisation to promote health and well-being.  Submit application by March 28.

Published Friday, March 7th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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