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How Geographic Information System And Geospatial Technology Changed The Medical Landscape

1251 words - 6 pages

Health Professionals all over the world have used today’s technology to improve and change the landscape of the Medical world. From updated EKGs to more accurate Stethoscopes, doctors have been able to help people around the world and provide the best healthcare that the world has ever seen. Many times in the medical world there are several problems and mysteries that arise with unpredictable circumstances that Health Professionals in the past could never solve or determine. Geospatial Technology has become an essential competency for a large number of Health Professionals over the past few decades and has provided them with necessary and beneficial information to expand and improve their efforts. Even though it has definitely been a huge asset in the medical world, there are still looming diseases and illnesses that have taken countless lives that Geospatial Technology has not been able to help solve. I firmly believe that without the help of Geospatial Technology and the data that it provides, the medical world would not be nearly as efficient or as innovative as it is today in its’ efforts in trying to find or create solutions for countless life-threatening issues. Thanks to the usage of Geospatial Technology and its many features and programs by Health Professionals, they have the tools and information that they will need to help them save lives.
For quite some time, the problems that have come as a result of Drug or Alcohol abuse has grown in the U.S. and has caused a whopping $366 billion per year in healthcare costs, lost worker productivity, and criminal justice activities. (Gruenwald, 2013, p.443) This has become an epidemic in the U.S. and professionals have grown dependent and confident in improving the capabilities of GIS and the advancement of statistical tools to analyze spatial data to provide the Medical and Judicial aspects of American society the information they need to help fight this epidemic. (Gruenwald, 2013, p. 443) In his article, Paul Gruenwald conducted research on the usage of Methamphetamine in the state of California using Geospatial technology to find his backing information including the number of Methamphetamine related hospital admissions and the number of reported users in by California zip code (Gruenwald, 2013, pgs. 444-446)

(Fig.3, Growth of Methamphetamine Hospital admissions in California 1995-2005, Gruenwald, 447)
Not only have Americans used GIS as a means of conducting research on disease and epidemics, after the 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong research was conducted on the disease outbreak during the 6 month ordeal that affected over 1700 people. (Lai, Wong, Hedley, Lo, Leung, Kong, and Leung. 2004) During their research the group was able to determine the rates of outbreak through certain geographic areas which is shown in the graph below.

(Figure 3, By: Lai, P.C., C.M. Wong, A.J. Hedley, S.V. Lo, P.Y. Leung, J. Kong, and G.M. Leung, 2004)

Though there are many who are fully confident in the...

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