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Health and GIS The Municipal Opportunity Hugh Williams 416-738-9583

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Presentation on theme: "Health and GIS The Municipal Opportunity Hugh Williams 416-738-9583"— Presentation transcript:

1 Health and GIS The Municipal Opportunity Hugh Williams

2 Intro to SKE Inc. URISA sustaining member. Ontario govt. Vendor of Record 14 years of growth and leadership in GIS implementation. Key directions: A) “Ontario GeoPortal” and related business applications: B) Provide hosted “spatial cloud computing” (SC2) solutions. C) Custom application development. Partner with iHealthSolutions for health sector GIS requirements and applications.

3 Theories How Swine Flu is Being Transmitted…

4 Presentation Discussion: 1.Public health has many key programs that GIS can support. 2.Public health recognizes need for GIS – but many challenges exist. 3.Opportunities for municipalities to leverage / support public health. 4.New technologies / solutions available to make it easier – such as spatial cloud computing.

5 Health Delivery in Ontario ( 101 ) Public Health Units (36) – Deliver programs to keep people healthy (healthy babies, tobacco, rabies, immunization, drinking water, STD/AIDS education, oral hygiene, many more) – Have a municipal footprint. – Co-funded through municipalities and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. LHINs (Local Health Integration Networks) (14) – Plan and fund health care system delivery – hospitals, CCACs, health care providers. – Footprint does not follow municipal boundaries.

6 GIS Can Support.. Population health and analysis. (at risk, status, behaviours). Disease monitoring / tracking / remediation: e.g. West Nile Virus. Service delivery improvement: e.g. inspection routes and territory assignment. Healthcare access. Information management: e.g. timely access to information.

7 GIS Capacity in Public Health Varies ! – From little capacity to dedicated GIS. – Leads to non-standard approaches; “haves” and “have nots”. – IT often not a spending priority when viewed against health program delivery. – GIS not core business – although well understood in epidemiology GIS Interest Group through APHEO (Assoc Public Health Epidemiologists of Ontario). PHAC (Public Health Agency Canada) support. Municipal partnerships enabling capability.

8 GIS Usage in Public Health (stats from 2008 survey – 22 health units, mostly Epi’s) 82% ESRI software. 41% some training in GIS or spatial analysis.; 82% have knowledge of GIS applications; 1/3 of respondents good at GIS. Most commonly used for a) exploring data, b) geocoding, c) buffer analysis. Other: cluster analysis; grid analysis; network analysis; Project use includes: vector borne surveillance e.g. West Nile (79%); cluster analysis, distance to hospital, ward profiles, population health maps. Over 70% feel standards lacking and needed.

9 Health GIS Challenges Data / Information – Access – Integration – Sharing / publishing. – Privacy Core functionality – e.g. geocoding Cost – architecture and implementation. Capacity – training and dedication. Corporate support

10 Municipal Opportunity Comments from Leeds, Grenville, Lanark Health Unit: – good relationship with municipality’s GIS coordinator and technician – Can’t “concentrate anywhere near as much on GIS as I would like and we can’t afford a dedicated GIS technician”. – Potential for cost savings by sharing GIS resources – Envision a GIS web portal (enabling sharing) maintained by an external provider. – Data privacy a concern, but ways to overcome this.

11 Municipal Opportunity Several examples of municipal GIS support of public health: Waterloo; York; Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma; many others… How is your municipal GIS supporting the health unit’s role in health promotion and healthy communities? New technology services-based solution: Spatial Cloud Computing

12 Spatial Cloud Computing (SC2) SC2 provides information integration, publishing and access through a geographic interface. Service-based model that requires little or no additional technology infrastructure / data / capacity. Privacy concerns addressed – health data don’t leave the health unit. Municipal GIS data and analysis capability + SC2 would quickly provide a complete solution. SKE Inc. implementing SC2 through multi-award winning GeoPortal application.

13 Thank you. Hugh Williams SKE Inc


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