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July 06, 2010

Geomedicine: How Does Geography Affect Health?


Doctors are accustomed to asking about family history and lifestyle to predict health risks, but what about geography? In an October 2009 TedMed video, Bill Davenhall argues that the places we've lived throughout our lives (our "place history") can provide crucial health information. Yet up until now this important data has been all but ignored in patient health records.
 
Could the heart attack that took Davenhall by surprise in 2001 have been predicted by looking at the polluted environments he lived in throughout his life? Davenhall shows us "heart attack maps" and other health risk assessment devices, and explains the use of mobile gps applications to collect geographical data. He hopes to see the inclusion of "place histories" in electronic health records going forward, as well as training programs for medical students in the emerging field of geomedicine. Via TedMed

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