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Google and Bing Launch Health Map Applications

Look at Health Stats Across the United States

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Today both Google and Bing released some health-related map applications. These releases coincide with the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosting their Community Health Data Forum event.

Google’s contribution includes a Google Fusion Tables project and customized map showing information from HHS. For example, you can see a map of "heart friendly" and "people friendly" hospitals.

Google Health Map

"It’s important to note that the science behind measuring the quality of hospitals and health care in general is still evolving, so we can’t make definitive conclusions from this data," says Google’s Chief Health Strategist, Roni Zeiger, MD.  "However, this kind of transparency will lead to discussion, questions, and analysis which we hope will improve choices and outcomes."

Microsoft launched a Bing Maps app called Bing Health maps. This also uses data from HHS. It provides stats for the U.S. states by county.

Bing Health Map App

"Bing Health Maps is very straightforward to use – (1) Select a state and, (2) Select a Community Health Indicator," explains Bing’s Chris Pendleton. "The map will re-center on the respective state and color-code the counties within that state based on unit-based reporting. You can select health indicators such as Birth Indicators (low birth weight, premature births, births to women under 18, etc.); Death Measures (homicide, lung cancer, stroke, etc.) or Health Risk Factors (obesity, smokers, high blood pressure, etc.). If the opacity doesn’t suit your fancy there’s a slider to increase or decrease it."

"Once the map is loaded with the respective counties shaded you can click on any county to get all of the factors listed under the Community Health Indicator list all in one popup for that county," continues Pendleton. "This app is jam-packed with information! Let’s say you’re looking to move California because you think everyone there is a health nut. Turn on the Bing Health Maps to see which counties are most healthy. Then, when you’re deciding to be a SoCal or NorCal person (the war wages on) you can fire up the Oodle Map App to check out rentals in the respective area. Or, check out the Twitter Map App and filter based on keywords like “running,” “hiking,” or “surfing” and you’ll finally find out that SoCal is just better since people aren’t Tweeting – they’re actually out running, hiking and surfing."

More about the HHS Community Health Data Initiative can be found here.

Google and Bing Launch Health Map Applications
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  • http://www.meyouhealth.com Alicia

    It’s exciting times in health and technology today. And while I applaud Google and Microsoft for today’s amazing innovations, I’m thrilled at how our Community Clash online card game turned out. In about 6 weeks, we pulled this off. If you’d like to learn more about Community Clash, please visit: http://www.meyouhealth.com/clash/about/

    Warm regards,
    Alicia Benjamin
    Social Media Manager
    MeYou Health

  • http://wellscent.com/health_forum/topics Wellescent Health Forums

    With the availability of these maps, it will be interesting to see what useful health mashups can result. Certainly at some level, increased rates of illness in some specific areas will provide preliminary evidence regarding problems from pollution, diseases with ties to ethnicity and conditions associated with specific climate. I am skeptical that we will see a lot of value to individuals directly, but researchers could benefit from a new source of data.