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Geospatial tool to help diabetic patients

Ann Arbor, US: The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation as part of its national diabetes initiative, Together on Diabetes, awarded USD 6.2 million grant to the Center for Geospatial Medicine at U-M’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Duke University Medical Center and the Durham County Health Department in the US. The grant aims to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people living with type 2 diabetes.

“The Center for Geospatial Medicine will be developing geospatial informatics tools to improve the design and delivery of treatment approaches for persons with T2DM,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, the centre’s director and a professor at the U-M School of Natural Resources and Environment.

“Changing the course of the nation’s diabetes epidemic requires radically new thinking and intensified collaborative action,” said Patricia Doykos, Director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “The project is bringing both to everything from how to account for the diverse drivers of diabetes burden to who can play a role to what to do and how to measure whether it is making a positive impact at the population level.”

During the planning phase, the coalition is employing a technology called geospatial mapping, which takes information related to disease and health care and fits it to the physical map of a community, allowing researchers to visualise complex relationships among the locations of diabetes patients, patterns of health care and available social resources.

This information is also being used to explore gaps in access to care and self-management resources; help patients connect with the community assets; and identify interventions that can result in better health outcomes, both for the individual and the neighbourhood as a whole. Geospatial data will also be used to create a continuous feedback loop for improving the quality of project efforts.

Diabetes affects nearly 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the country’s population.

The mission of the Center for Geospatial Medicine is to develop systematic, spatially based methods for analyzing the pathways through which the environment, genetic and psychosocial domains jointly shape health and well-being.

Source: www.healthcanal.com