GIS Health News Weekly: Cardiac App, Obesity, Cancer Deaths
Where's the Cath Lab? Who's got it?
CathMaps+, per Kickstart LLC, is the first HIPAA-compliant mobile application for cardiac patients and those at risk for a cardiac incident. It includes the patient's cardiac history and an interactive map of Cath Labs throughout most of the world. It launched for the U.S. market for most iOS and Android devices. it's free. Creator Danny Oberman had an incident before developing the free app.
A new app promises to make the dating world 'less awkward' with a profile feature that displays which STDs you've been tested for.
Hula not only helps you find local test centers, but it also has healthcare providers send your results directly to the app, where you can share them with others on the social network.
The app also has a tool to find local testing centers. My fear is that the "sharing" feature, which is touted as authoritative since the results come directly from the testing organization, will put off use of the location-based features.
How well do GIS-modeled Routes to School Match Reality (and Predict Student Exercise)?
The length of routes and the food options along the way are important research topics for those exploring children's health with respect to obesity. How well do the estimated routes created by GIS match with the path students actually travel? Not too well, per a study in the International Journal of Health Geographics:
GIS modelled routes between home and school were not truly representative of accurate GPS measured exposure to obesogenic environments, particularly for pedestrians. While route length may be fairly well described, especially for urban populations, those living close to school, and those travelling by foot, the additional expense of acquiring GPS data seems important when assessing exposure to route environments.
NJ: Lots of Cesareans
Among the reason New Jersey may have such a high rate of c-sections: malpractice insurance rates, the convenience of the mother or of the doctor.
Nearly 4 of every 10 births in New Jersey occurs by cesarean section, a rate that remains stubbornly higher than the national average, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.New Jersey's C-section percentage of 38.7 percent of all births in 2011 was the second-highest in the nation, trailing only Louisiana, where 39.9 percent of all babies were delivered by cesarean section. The state has consistently had one of the highest rates in the nation despite efforts to encourage more vaginal births whenever appropriate.
No Maps in Food Desert Study
Academics Tackle Health GIS
Ram Raghavan, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State, and a team that includes geographers, have found that a certain combination of climate, physical environment and socio-ecologic conditions are behind tularemia infections among cats in the region. More than 50 percent of all tularemia cases in the U.S. occur in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The disease can spread to people and can cause illness in those who go where cats go, like the backyard, and in soldiers serving all over the world.
Dr, Mark Skinner, a health geographer from Trent University geography professor, has been named the founding director of the Trent Centre for Aging and Society. It will focus on research and awareness of aging and old age in areas including nursing, psychology, geography and culture. Trent University is in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.