This map shows the geographic location of all practicing dentists in the state of Florida by county and the dental ER visits per 1000 in primary care professional shortage areas.
For better oral health outcomes to be possible in Florida, a data-driven, evidence-based program is essential. The Oral Health Needs Index(OHNI) made strides to fix this problem by creating an easy too access, oral health focused, outline Geographic Information System (GIS) based tool that allows users to turn complex data sets into maps and other easy-to-use visualizations.
According to the CDC, most oral diseases are avoidable, with the timely administration of preventive care. Failure to address oral health with timely preventive care may result in costly visits to hospital emergency rooms, especially for children in low-income households. Identifying dental providers who accept Medicaid and other public dental insurance can be difficult. Transportation and finding participating providers are significant barriers for low-income and rural populations. With the use of these maps, we get clear visualization of health disparities experienced by under-served communities and it allows for a better understanding of ways to combat these disparities.
Amazon’s new Echo Spot Smart home technology introduces a variety of ways that technology can play a central role in maintaining meaningful interactions between seniors and their caregivers and/or families. The seniors of today possess considerably more technological knowledge, and more comfort with technology, than their predecessors. This helps improve the potential for elders to successfully age at home.
Smart homes appliances provide valuable support to elderly parents, with Skype and FaceTime being good solutions to maintaining healthy interactions across long distances. However, they require both participants in calls to effectively utilize an app. They simply cannot substitute for human interaction. Amazon’s new Echo Show has the potential to reduce challenges that comes with video calls and new-aged technology. A brilliant idea it may be, there are still issues related to small screen size and placement, but this can spark the candle for more innovative ways to care for the elderly.
The goal of health technology is to assist in more efficient data collection, increase connectivity, and foresee market changes. A push for a more healthy lifestyle across the United States has lead to an increasing need for innovative ideas that can lead to healthy behavior changes. Even with governmental efforts, life expectancy in the United States has decreased, inequities in healthcare persist in rural communities and healthcare costs are still at an all time high. Developing partnerships between healthcare communities and business technology firms has the possibility to strengthen the development of evidence-based research and HIPAA-compliant clinical resources that can contribute to an improved population health in the United States. Using these firms can also establish more reputable platforms, health analytics, and marketing expertise that could serve beneficial to the current healthcare issues.
Implementing technology into exercise devices has lead to success stories surrounding smart technology abound. Exercise using smart technology has been shown to increase physical activity compared to traditional healthcare models. Access to healthcare is also an issue due to the US healthcare industry structure. This can be improved through the use of online applications geared towards connecting clinicians with patients. Through businesses engagement, assistance in the development of technology services that increases access to low-cost care for patients in need is possible.
Innovative inventions in data collection would assist with patients having access to their own health information. This gives them the opportunity to make informed decisions about their own health. It also reduces redundant testing resulting in patients and clinicians saving time and money. Collaborating with businesses and technology firms on healthcare issues and projects could improve population health overall.
- Stey A, Kanzaria H, Brook R. How disruptive innovation by business and technology firms could improve population health [published online August 16, 2018]. JAMA.doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10782
In recognition of National Birth Defects Prevention month check out this map of Tennessee which shows the rate of chromosomal birth defects by county per 10,000 live births by county for the state of Tennessee for the years 2008 to 2012. From the map we can see counties such as, Williamson, Johnson, Scott and Giles had a higher rate of chromosomal birth defects, ranging from 27.01 to 36.00 per 10,00 live births. Given a mothers age is a significant risk factor for certain types of chromosomal birth defects with older mothers having a higher risk it would be interesting to compare the age demographics of these counties.
By Julia Watson
Check out this map that shows the mortality rate per 100,000 population for cervical cancer by county for the years 2012 to 2016. From the map we can see that the lighter shaded areas had a decrease in mortality while the darker shaded areas had an increase in mortality. Although cervical cancer is not the leading cause of cancer death among women  it is still of concern. To learn more about cervical cancer and what The American Cancer Society recommends click here.
By Julia Watson
Check out this map that shows where licensed and practicing physicians that have graduated from Meharry Medical College are practicing medicine in the state of Tennessee. The map also shows health professions shortage areas (HPSAs) by county for the state of Tennessee. From the map we can see are large amount of Meharry educated physicians practicing in HPSAs such as Shelby County and Davidson County, TN.
By Michael Paul
Interesting map that shows the percentage of breast cancer medicare beneficiaries by county for the year 2013. From the map we can see some states have a large portion of counties with a high percentage of medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries who have breast cancer, such as Florida and some states along the east cost indicated by the darker shading. In contrast, we can see many western states have counties shaded yellow/yellow orange indicating a low percentage of medicare beneficiaries with breast cancer.
By Julia Watson