Health GIS Tibits
The Bureau of Health Promotion in Taiwan released its latest health map and revealed Taitung County in the east and Pingtung and Chiayi in the south have larger obese populations that other parts of the country. This analysis struck me as interesting:
The map indicates that there are larger obese populations in counties than in cities, Chiu said.
People who live in the counties are not aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, as many of them were raised or educated by their grandparents, [Director General] Chiu said.
Heart patients in Detroit Lakes, MN are twice as likely as others in the state to have arterial bypasses. Men in Bemidji three times as likely to have enlarged prostates removed.
Those factoid come from the first state-focused report from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. (pdf) The findings suggest that "doctors may be neglecting patients' preferences and basing surgery decisions on other factors." The data are from 2003 through 2007.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has launched a prototype “Chronic Disease GIS Exchange” website meant to provide a forum for sharing examples, ideas and techniques for using GIS to inform policy and document geographic disparities to help prevent heart disease, stroke and chronic diseases.
- via Spatial Sustain
A new article titled Geospatial resources for supporting data standards, guidance and best practice in health informatics is getting well read. It's about metadata and interoperability. And, full free access!
Fiscal Officer [of Mount Vernon, Ohio] Linette Vance reported on some of the small changes in the 2011 permanent appropriations. She said there is some extra money available if needed for the purchase of computers, software and replacement of dental equipment.
“The budget will meet all of our needs for 2011,” she said. “We will do some necessary server upgrades and [increase] storage capacity and dental equipment. As far as computer software, we will get GIS software.”
Environmental Health Director Stuart Lentz noted the GIS software will be useful to accurately map sewer and water projects and could be used to map contagious disease clusters.
It's rare for local folks to think about disease mapping, so this is very cool.
A new study " aimed to test the appropriateness of new, inexpensive and simple GIS tools in poorly resourced areas of a developing country" for use in medical issues. The study was in Indonesia and the software trialed was open source. The conclusion, after training: "We demonstrated that GIS can be a useful and inexpensive tool for the decentralisation of health data analysis to low resource settings through the use of free and simple software, locally relevant training materials and by providing data collection tools to ensure data reliability."