How important is accurate geocoding when doing disease studies? Pretty important per a study of historical data on a monkey pox outbreak in Africa.
Less-careful georeferencing identified much smaller areas as having potential for monkeypox transmission in the Sahel region, as well as around the rim of the Congo Basin. These results have implications for mapping efforts, as each higher level of georeferencing precision required considerably greater time investment.
- International Journal of Health Geographics via 7th Space
The trend is also ushering in a new era of "citizen epidemiologists," says Bill Davenhall, a healthcare manager with the geographic information systems software developer Esri. And around the country, experiments are underway to, among other things, pair geo-mapping with patient medical records to help doctors personalize treatment.
I guess that's the new geomedicine term we need to add to our vocaularies. AlterNet highlights some recent efforts to link place and medicine - mostly focusing on Esri and San Bernardino.
PBS' Frontline recently tackled not health care in general but dentistry in the U.S. It was a pretty scary program highlighting limited access and some less than honest practices. PBS offers maps to explore if you are in a "dental deser" and analyzes why they exist.