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.
With November election slowly approaching, one of the newest features currently being used to ease the process across the world is, GIS community mapping. Community mapping is using mapping technology to identify, understand, analyze and resolve community issues. Residents can use GIS mapping to type in their polling place and even give them directions to it.
Interactive community mapping systems can replace paper-based data to help store vital information more efficiently. GIS can provide details about specific parish/county population, transportation and highway systems, voting precincts, zoning and land use, parks and more. Locations of utilities, pipelines, flood zones and elevation can also be mapped.
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.
Travelers are now allowed to fly with marijuana when flying out of Los Angeles International Airport. Yes, that right! Los Angeles International Airport are now allowing their passengers to fly with up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana with no risk of arrest or confiscation unless that amount is exceeded.
Airport police would not confiscate it unless it exceeds California’s legal amount and will not stop or arrest you if they find marijuana in your carry-on bags.
The new marijuana policy reads…
” While federal law prohibits the possession of marijuana (inclusive of federal airspace,) California’s passage of proposition 64, effective January 1, 2018, allows for individuals 21 years of age or older to….”
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
I created the above map using the tutorials in ESRI website for ArcGIS & the content from GIS Tutorial for Health. The map explores the Mammography clinics in relations to counties in Pennsylvania. The pattern of high concentration around cities of Pittsburg and Philadelphia is evident from the maps.
Few other observations from the map are:
Potter and Sullivan counties have fewer women aged 40-74, but still, there are no clinics. They are obvious areas of the state where clinics are needed.
Monroe, Clearfield, Jefferson counties have higher women aged 40-74, but a relatively
small number of clinics.
Philadelphia & Pittsburg surrounding areas have enough clinics, but remote northwestern and northeastern counties need more clinics.
The power of GIS can be further explored to look into the cities that sound to have more mammography clinics, in the map below :
This map shows that though Allegheny county hosts Pittsburg, there is a pattern of concentration of clinics in the south relatively more urban part of the city. The pattern correlates with other healthcare facilities in the county that counts towards health equities in this county.
Granulation to the smallest unit possible brings in more refined data on what seems to be different in small scale.
In the midst of newsworthy Hepatitis A outbreaks in Kentucky, San Diego, and Michigan, this map depicts the number of Hepatitis A incidents across the United States from 2017-2018. The number fluctuations in each state over the last year is alarming considering that there are few national regulations being put into place in the realm of food safety. Catherine Huddle from Food Safety News explains that although the CDC recommends that all children should be vaccinated at the ages of 1 and 2, ” the CDC has not recommended Hepatitis A vaccinations for food service workers” (Huddle, 2018). We can only hope that more information and awareness of Hepatitis A outbreaks can help force a decline in it’s prevalence. For more information of state reported Hepatitis A incidents you can visit the Food Safety News web page.