Geographic Information Systems and Health Applications

Geographic Information Systems and Health Applications

Omar A. Khan (Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, USA) and Ric Skinner (Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA)
Release Date: July, 2002|Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 344
ISBN13: 9781591400424|ISBN10: 1591400422|EISBN13: 9781591400769|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-042-4


The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the health sector is an idea whose time has come. The current applications of GIS in health are diverse and extensive. The present GIS environment is heavily driven by technology and such an approach is indeed logical for the most part. However, the needs of less-developed countries in utilizing the concepts and technologies of mapping should not be neglected in the continuing evolution of GIS. Geographic Information Systems and Health Applications presents a sampling of the many applications utilizing GIS in the field of health.

Reviews and Testimonials

The mid nineties saw a profusion of interest in GIS applications to health. This helped to promote the dissemination and acceptance of this new data management, analysis and display methodology in a variety of health fields. In many cases, however, data was displayed in an exploratory fashion, without enough input being given to the methodological aspects of spatial data measurement, analysis and description. This resulted in simplistic, and sometimes erroneous, interpretations leading to some wariness and disillusionment with GIS as a tool that could be used in a wide variety of settings with some level of ease and confidence. This book is an important step in attempting to address this issue. It gives examples of how a variety of methodological approaches can be used for health applications utilizing GIS. While the book does set a high methodological standard for the application of this technology, it offers insight to how this can be applied in a wide variety of settings, ranging form academic to service delivery, industrial to developing country settings.

– Dr Saqib Shahab, Medical Health Officer, Canada

This book is remarkable in shedding light on the spatial aspects of disease and its socioeconomic correlates, public health, preventative measures, and the availability of health resources. The chapters include a variety of spatial and statistical analysis models and techniques, drawn from public health, epidemiology, and medicine. Often geographic information systems (GIS) are utilized as a complement along with other technologies and techniques, such as GPS, remote sensing, and market share analysis. The scope of the book is worldwide, with studies of health problems in North America, Asia, and the Pacific. The contributions provide valuable insights into disease and public health problems and solutions, and elucidate a group of current spatial and GIS models and methods that scientists and practitioners can apply to similar studies. This book is an excellent contribution to the GIS and health literature.

– James B. Pick, University of Redlands, USA

In many ways this volume is successful in bringing together a comprehensive picture of how GIS are being used for health applications.

– Annals of the Geographic Information Systems and Health Applications, March 2004, Volume 94, Number 1.

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Table of Contents
Ric Skinner
Omar A. Khan
Omar A. Khan
Chapter 1
Gregory Pappas, Mohammod Akhter
In this chapter we discuss the importance of community in public health science and practice. Community is —first and foremost— place. The science... Sample PDF
Race, Class and Place: Directions for the Future of Public Health
Chapter 2
Samuel Soret, Karl J. McCleary, Patrick A. Rivers, Susanne B. Montgomery
The emerging discipline of health geographics uses the concepts and techniques of medical geography (Meade, Florin & Gesler, 1988) together with... Sample PDF
Understanding Health Disparities through Geographic Information Systems
Chapter 3
J.ane L. McCall, Amy K. Pasini, Richard B. Wait
This chapter describes two case studies that demonstrate how the technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be combined with community... Sample PDF
Using a GIS and the American Community Survey to Address Community Health Problems
Chapter 4
Robert Lipton, D. M. Gorman, Paul Gruenewald
This chapter describes research that uses spatial modeling to address pressing issues related to a public health understanding of alcohol problems... Sample PDF
The Application of Spatial Analysis to the Public Health Understanding of Alcohol and Alcohol-Related Problems
Chapter 5
Jane L. McCall
In the last 20 years, Geographic Information Systems (GISs) have had an ever-increasing impact on the course of research and planning in many... Sample PDF
The New Kid on the Block: A Look at How Geographic Information Systems are Changing the Face of Cancer Research
Chapter 6
Scott Carlin
The Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition (HBCAC) recently completed a survey of town residents regarding breast cancer. This chapter reviews... Sample PDF
Community Breast Cancer Mapping in Huntington, Long Island
Chapter 7
Daikwon Han, Peter A. Rogerson
This chapter examines spatio-temporal changes in breast cancer clustering in the Northeastern United States to assess the statistical significance... Sample PDF
Application of a GIS-Based Statistical Method to Access Spatio-Temporal Changes in Breast Cancer Clustering in the Northeastern United States
Chapter 8
C. L. Vidal-Rodeiro, M. I. Santiago-Perez, E. Vazquez-Fernandez, M. E. Lopez-Vizcaino, X. Hervada-Vidal
The purpose of this chapter is to review and compare two techniques to map the mortality risk of a disease in small geographical areas. The first... Sample PDF
Geographical Analysis of Disease in Small Areas Using Hierarchical Bayesian Models: Mapping Men's Lung Cancer Mortality in Galicia, Spain
Chapter 9
Andrew Curtis, Michael Leitner, Cathleen Hanlon
One of the most powerful uses of GIS in the field of public health is as an exploratory data analysis tool. By combining the three post-input... Sample PDF
Using Hierarchical Nearest Neighbor Analysis and Animation to Investigate the Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Raccoon Rabies in West Virginia
Chapter 10
Michael Emch, Mohammod Ali
This chapter describes the use of disease clustering methods using diarrheal disease data from a rural area of Bangladesh for which the authors... Sample PDF
Spatial Cluster Analysis for Etiological Research and Identification of Socio-environmental Risk Factors
Chapter 11
Edmund Y.W. Seto, Bing Xu, Weiping Wu, George Davis, Dongchuan Qiu, Xueguang Gu
Despite considerable achievements in the control of schistosomiasis in China, it remains one of the country’s most serious public health problems.... Sample PDF
The Use of GIS and Remote Sensing in Schistosomiasis Control in China
Chapter 12
M. E. Folkoff, E. A. Venso, D. W. Harris, M. F. Frana, M. S. Scott
This study is only the second to use DNA fingerprinting technology in Maryland to identify fecal coliform sources in order to guide the... Sample PDF
Bacterial Source Tracking of Nonpoint Source Pollution Using GIS and DNA Fingerprinting Technologies
Chapter 13
Mohammod Ali, Christine Ashley, M. Zahirul Haq, Peter Kim Streatfield
This chapter describes the use of geographic information systems to predict spatial risk of child survival problems in a rural area of Bangladesh.... Sample PDF
Spatial Modeling of Risk Factors for Gender-Specific Child Mortality in a Rural Area of Bangladesh
Chapter 14
Ge Lin
In this chapter, we examine travel distance and its effect on total and avoidable hospitalizations using data from the capital health region in... Sample PDF
Using GIS to Unveil Distance Effects on Hospitalizations in Victoria
Chapter 15
Wei Luo, Fahui Wang
This chapter introduces two new GIS-supported methods of measuring accessibility to primary healthcare. The improved floating catchment method... Sample PDF
Spatial Accessibility to Primary Care and Physician Shortage Area Designation: A Case Study in Illinois with GIS Approaches
Chapter 16
Evan R. Wolarsky
Publicly available data of all hospital discharges has been available since Medicare changed to a case-based reimbursement system. A... Sample PDF
Using GIS with Publicly Available Data for Hospital Market Share Analysis
Chapter 17
Lars Brabyn, Paul Gower
Accessibility to general practitioners (GPs) is an important health issue that has financial, cultural and geographical dimensions. This chapter... Sample PDF
Mapping Accessibility to General Practitioners
About the Authors

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Omar A. Khan has a keen interest in the field of health and GIS and has served as co-chair of the First and Second International Health Geographics Conferences. His interests include health care for the under-served and an active research interest in international health. Khan is currently at the University of Vermont. He served as the first Director of the South Asia Infectious Disease Network (SAIDNET) and presently works with the South Asia Public Health Forum as well. He has served as a consultant for the US Dept of Health & Human Services as well as international disease control programs such as the AIDS International Training & Research Program (AITRP), through the University of Alabama School of Public Health.
Ric Skinner is the Senior GIS Coordinator in the Geographic Information System Program in the Department of Surgery at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Ric provides overall coordination of GIS activities at BMC and with BMC’s community, state and national partners, as well as supports GIS Program staff, in the application of GIS to healthcare. Ric has over 30 years of professional experience: 12 years in the utilization of GIS in healthcare and environmental areas, and over 20 years pursuing research in environmental management and assessment. Prior to BMC, he was a Research Scientist in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services providing GIS support on epidemiology studies, specifically in cancer control and prevention. He was also the department’s GIS Coordinator and Representative to the Interagency GIS Team. In the mid-1990s, Ric was an independent consultant providing GIS services to several hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania and a major healthcare information provider in Virginia. The majority of his professional career was spent in environmental monitoring and surveillance for electric power companies in Michigan and Pennsylvania. During this time he also designed, constructed and operated three aquatic bioassay laboratories. Ric initiated and co-chaired the First International Health Geographics Conference in 1998 in Baltimore, MD, and co-chaired the Second International Health Geographics Conference in 2000 in Washington, DC. He is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Health Geographics. He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications, reports and presentations on such topics as GIS, health geographics, and environmental management and assessment.