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Australian private healthcare group maps future health hotzones

Cutting-edge mapping technology is underpinning a new generation of targeted health services in Geelong, a city south-west of Melbourne, helping Victoria’s largest not-for-profit private healthcare provider plans its new $447 million teaching hospital for that region.

Using smart mapping technology to analyse research data would become essential for the Australian health industry, especially when driving new infrastructure development. It is certainly a growth area for the local health sector – where beyond identifying service gaps or growth opportunities, mapping technologies are increasingly used to explore the origins and causes of illness and diseases.

Mapping data gives healthcare professionals, policy makers and researchers a better understanding of the location-based elements of a disease – which may be used when deciding where to build future healthcare facilities or targeted education campaigns. The technology is a perfect fit for health awareness campaigns, because it can convey complex data typically stored in tables or databases in an incredibly engaging visual format that anyone can easily interpret.

Healthcare demographic mapping solution
Epworth HealthCare is Victoria’s largest not-for-profit private healthcare group, renowned for excellence in diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation. The Group is moving ahead with plans for a state-of-the-art health facility to belocated next to the Deakin University campus at Waurn Ponds, which aims to integrate clinical practice, teaching and research.

Epworth healthcare facility

Developed bymapping technology leader,MapData Services (MDS), the new demographic mapping solution has helped Epworth HealthCare to research the target population likely to seek private healthcare services. The technology provides a valuable visual representation of where private health patients live and what services are available in their immediate area.

The technology worked by producing a series of maps to reflect Epworth’s market analysis research, which included up-to-date collected information, as well as demographic data available in the 2011 Census basic community profile dataset from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Colour-coded digital maps were then generated showing the density of private hospital patients across Victoria according to local government area, as well as where existing services are located.

These maps were able to produce the geographic spread of their market share within Melbourne and the rest of Victoria.

This way, Epworth plannerscould easilysee where and how to increase the hospital network and provide health services to people living in that corridor. It also enables users to visualise data in a very intuitive way, and as a powerful tool when presenting future planning and development information to board members and other stakeholders.

Understanding the future healthcare needs of Geelong helped to indicate where private health facilities could have a stronger market presence.

Mapping technology for informed business decisions
Leveraging MDS’ technology and mapping expertise will support Epworth’s 20-year development plan, which includes the redevelopments of their Camberwell and Richmond hospitals. The Group is amongst a growing number of health departments, hospitals, universities, research institutes and pharmaceutical companies across Australia and New Zealand which are discovering the value of using mapping technology to make more informed business decisions for the benefit of all.