Using GIS for disease surveillance
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Feb. 4, 2013 — Since the mid-nineteenth century, maps have helped elucidate the deadly mysteries of diseases like cholera and yellow fever. Yet today's global mapping of infectious diseases is considerably unreliable and may do little to inform the control of potential outbreaks, according to a new systematic mapping review of all clinically important infectious diseases known to humans. Of the 355 infectious diseases assessed in the review, 174 showed a strong rationale for mapping and less than 5 percent of those have been mapped reliably.
Public release date: 8-Dec-2011 [ Print | E-mail | Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Morgan Kelly email@example.com 609-258-5729 Princeton University Normally used to spot where people live, satellite images of nighttime lights can help keep tabs on the diseases festering among them, too, according to new research. Princeton University-led researchers report in the journal Science Dec. 9 that nighttime-lights imagery presents a new tool for pinpointing disease hotspots in developing nations by revealing the population boom that typically coincides with seasonal epidemics. In urban areas with migratory populations, the images can indicate where people are clustering by capturing the expansion and increasing brightness of lighted areas.
Author Affiliations 1 Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Nobelsvag 9, SE-17177, Stockholm, Sweden 2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hangkong Road 13#, Wuhan, 430030, Hubei, China 3 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, No 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai, 200032, China 4 Center for Health Policy Studies, School of Public Health, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
The healthcare industry increasingly sees geographic information system (GIS) software as a tool to improve the quality of care by tracking and analyzing area trends, according to an article published this week in The Atlantic Cities . At Loma Linda (Calif.) University Medical Center, for example, providers are geo-coding patient addresses to determine just how much of a role environment--and in particular, pollution--plays in a patient's health status.
Disease prevalence and socioeconomic status across the US, as mapped by AdAge Regional differences in healthcare have been mapped time and again during the recent rise of online data-visualisation, but this effort, from the folks at AdAge , presents a new approach. The infographic shows which disease is most prevalent within the population of each US county, and also highlights the socioeconomic status of each region, as defined by the Patchwork Nation project. If you would like to browse a larger, interactive version of the map, you can find the original here . The visualisation was produced by plotting data from 25,000 US household survey responses against Patchwork Nation's 'community types', showing both the geographical and and socioeconomic distribution of different diseases. Clear regional patterns are immediately visible, such as the prominence of muscular degeneration across the south-west and the emergence of Restless Legs Syndrome as the dominant affliction in the north-east.
Thanks to the advancements in geographic information systems (GIS) technologies and mapping applications like ArcGIS, health organizations worldwide are mapping disease and sickness trends in an effort to treat them locally and globally. GIS tools and ArcGIS mapping applications play an important role in developing data-driven solutions that help health organizations visualize, analyze, interpret and present complex geo-location data. The World Health Organization maintains an updated influenza map that shows Asia and Africa are at greater risk the spread of flu.
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SIGEpi forma parte de la línea de cooperación técnica "Aplicación y desarrollo de los Sistemas de Información Geográfica en Salud Pública" que tiene como objetivo fortalecer las capacidades analíticas de los Ministerios de Salud y otras Instituciones de salud de los países miembros de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) y la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS). En ese sentido, constituye una herramienta metodológica de la cooperación técnica que la OPS ofrece gratuitamente a los países de la Región de las Américas y de otras Regiones. Todos los interesados pueden obtener el software SIGEpi desde la sección de Soporte de este sitio en Internet.
Posted by Dr. Bertalan Meskó in Medicine , Medicine 2.0 , Visualization . trackback