Mapping to Save A Million Hearts and other Health GIS News
The Center for Disease Control's "Million Hearts" campaign is to reduce incidents of heart disease and stroke over five years. Five local health departments are mapping indidents to develop intervention strategies.
Washington County and Hennepin County MN, Boston, Mass.; Cambridge, Mass. and Rockland, N.Y. are all participating.
The prototype of a Web-based application, which helps online tracking of communicable diseases such as swine flu and dengue at the level of primary health centres (PHCs) and provides the analytics to evolve emergency response and long-term epidemiological strategy, will be launched this month in Tiruvallur.
The GIS application developed by a team at the unit of Environmental Health and Biotechnology, Loyola College, provides field staff and clinicians unique IDs and passwords for reporting disease using smart phones, basic mobiles or internet-enabled computers.
To which I respond: which Loyola and what GIS system? I confirmed Loyola in Chennai. (Hindu, 2011). I could not find anything on the technology, but my guess is it's Ushahidi.
Location is the key theme of a special issue of in a special theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Each of the six studies uses the latest concepts and methods in geographic information systems (GIS)-based research to determine how the geographic location affects physical health. A study titled "Spatial Classification of Youth Physical Activity Patterns" shows, for example, that while rural youth get the largest proportion of their physical activity while at school, urban and suburban youth are most active when commuting. Not only does this finding suggest that the walk to school might be just as important to some children's health as is the physical education they receive as part of the school curriculum, it is also important given that adolescent health behaviors are predictive of behaviors in adults.
One of the commentaries on the topic notes that GIS is not a panacea and it's still early in its use.