HGIS 2019 Abstracts

Full Papers
Paper Nr: 1

Spatial Analysis of Drug Poisoning Deaths and Access to Substance-use Disorder Treatment in the United States


Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger

Abstract: Mortality rates from drug overdose have increased exponentially throughout the US for the past 30 years. Age-adjusted death rates from drug poisoning for 1999-2016 were analyzed at the county level using space-time cube and hot spot analysis, and a composite index of patient access to substance-use disorder treatment and services per each county has been calculated. More than two-thirds of all US counties have been classified as hot spots. Combining mortality hot spots with the accessibility index highlights 81 counties with high disease burden and low access to treatment providers. These areas deserve special attention as state and local government and public health organizations seek new prevention and intervention strategies to address the opioid epidemic.

Paper Nr: 2

Advantages and Difficulties of using Spatial Enablement to Support Public Health in Cities: The PULSE Case Study


Daniele Pala, Marica T. Rocca and Vittorio Casella

Abstract: Big cities are heterogeneous environments in which socioeconomic and environmental differences among the neighborhoods are pronounced, therefore research projects that aim at informing public health policies at a single city level are being developed. Since most of public health data is referred to some geography, spatial enablement plays a fundamental role when it comes to analysis and visualization of urban health data. The PULSE project, part of the EU Horizon 2020 framework, involves five cities to transform public health from a reactive to a predictive system, and promote wellbeing by developing an integrated data ecosystem based on continuous large-scale collection of information, leading to better-informed data-driven health policy. One of the goals of PULSE is to apply spatial enablement to generate statistics useful to asses public health at a high spatial resolution, allowing to organize interventions at a neighborhood level. In this paper, we present a preliminary spatial enablement study carried out in this context, in which we show opposite sides of its application: while the results are promising, the lack of standardization and protocols in the data collection and representation processes make spatial enablement very difficult to apply to open data.