Geomedicine Makes Sense

Where you lived may have as much to do about a health diagnosis about you than mere genetics and culture. We knew that, didn’t we?? In the recent ArcNews (vol. 32, No. 1, Spring 2010) published by the firm, ESRI, I was drawn to an article about health care interacting with geography. The interesting thing is that this news journal is published for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) crowd, a specialized crowd, not for the general public. The way it was put was that a speaker at a conference, Bill Davenhall, wanted “health care and medicine to collide with geography and the environment.“
In linking health to geography, here is Davenhall’s point: The physician needs to consider many things including a patient’s place history to get a more complete picture of a person’s health. He suggests that place data content is already available in data repositories with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Library of Medicine.
This concept of geomedicine makes sense considering we are already concerned about health risks associated with toxic air, water, ground, and food exposures.
As a former medical school professor, I fully concur with this suggestion of geomedicine. It’s not all about genetics, it’s also about place!
© Baldwin H. Tom CMC

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