GIS for healthcare: How to assess the health of the whole region?

How to analyze the disadvantages and advantages of the health system of an entire state? Who will help to determine the level of public health in a particular region? The public health data system can solve all these tasks. Health care, as a field of human activity, is currently undergoing digitalization, which affects various aspects of the industry. This includes the development of an electronic medical record of the patient, the creation of information systems in the field of computer diagnostics of diseases, electronic document management systems, and analysis of medical statistics, etc.

One of the essential aspects of this process is the analysis of the spatial organization of the health care system. GIS for healthcare allows the identification of disadvantages and advantages and the assessment of the geographical factors of public health. Therefore, one of the components of the medical information system should be not only purely medical data management software but also geographic information system (GIS).

Why does healthcare need PUBLIC HEALTH GIS?

Aspectum is designed to solve problems at various scale levels: federal, regional, and municipal, which creates the prerequisites for the formation of multiple segments of the geographic information system. The crucial methodological aspect is that public health public health GIS should act as a subsystem in two larger systems – the medical state information system and the spatial data infrastructure.

In the first case, we are talking about the inclusion of the geographic information subsystem in the created information infrastructure (health maps) in the healthcare industry. In the second, we mean the integration of various sets of public health data with data from multiple industrial GIS. So that healthcare specialists get the possibility of expanding their analytical capabilities and providing integrated information on the socio-economic and environmental status of a specific territorial unit.

The use of public health data and spatial analysis in healthcare relies on several areas of knowledge: medical and socio-economic geography, geostatistics, processing raster images, and much more. At the same time, the allocation of several necessary structural and functional subsystems to the analysis of public health makes analysis and management of medical infrastructure, dispatching emergency medical care more accessible and faster. Space monitoring and analysis of natural factors of diseases plus multivariate data analysis makes health maps more accurate and speeds up decision making, especially in times of emergency.

Big scale health analysis

The subsystem of analysis of population health is intended for spatial analysis of the incidence of the population at various scale levels: federal, regional, and municipal. The study of public health is based on medical statistics classified by multiple types of diseases and morbidity factors. Such statistics, as a rule, are given in absolute (total number of cases) and relative (number of cases per 100 thousand people). Health maps with indicators of various types of health issues make it possible to assess the health of the population as a whole and its differences in various administrative-territorial entities and identify the leading causes and problematic effects. The accumulation of data on multiple types of morbidity makes it possible to identify the dynamics and trends of changes in the health of the population, to quantify the effectiveness of the measures taken in the field of health protection in various governmental and territorial entities.

Geostatistical analysis can serve as a tool for identifying spatial clusters of high and low values ​​of a disease, as well as statistical emissions such as “high – low” and “low – high.” Groups characterize clusters of objects with high or low values ​​of the analyzed parameter, which allows us to put forward a hypothesis about the statistical regularity of the spatial distribution of the disease. Statistical outbreaks provide information on abnormalities.

Creating a cartographic model allows you to identify problem regions in the context of a specific disease. Health maps enable carrying out a multivariate analysis of various aspects of public health for different territorial units. Spatial analysis of public health and health maps

make it possible to identify the most problematic issues of health protection and leading distress causes. This, in turn, makes it possible to develop a strategy for improving the industry, as well as quickly apply measures aimed at improving the health status. The main factors in the incidence of the population are mostly an indicator of regional problems. Thus, public health acts as an integral indicator of the well-being of the region, as indirectly reflects the main issues.

Space monitoring

One of the functional subsystems of Aspectum GIS can be a space monitoring system. Public health GIS can be used to manage and evaluate the completion of the construction of extensive healthcare facilities, at the regional level – for landscape-ecological analysis of natural morbidity factors. A separate task of using satellite imagery data in the field of healthcare is the operational survey of the territory and mapping for disaster medicine. The capabilities of satellite imagery make it possible to timely assess the nature of the situation, determine the necessary forces and means for responding, and rearrange the placement of medical care points.

Data analysis and decision making

The subsystem of multivariate data analysis and decision support is highlighted because of acts as a software add-on that allows multidimensional analysis of medical statistical information online. In this situation, the data of medical statistics are presented in the form of a multidimensional cube, the axis of which can be the type of disease, the causes of the disease, age and sex structure of patients, data on infrastructure facilities, and other attributes. Such an analysis mechanism allows you to quickly receive analytical reports in a variety of forms (charts, graphs, health maps), which significantly improves management efficiency and serves as a means of decision support.

The second significant element of the analytical subsystem is the automated logic system, which contains a set of scenarios that have a formalized description of the occurrence of certain situations in the form of specific criteria. At the same time, the decision-maker is informed about the current status, and the developed recommendations for solving the problem are offered.

Public health GIS and analytical systems are essential tools for analyzing and identifying regional problems because human health is an integral indicator of the degree of favorable economic, environmental and socio-psychological conditions for living and the reflection of the main issues of the territory. The introduction of GIS technologies in the field of healthcare will contribute to improving the quality of life and the timely provision of services to the population.


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Written by Virily Editor

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