Medical & Health Geoinformatics Lab

MHGL

The Medical and Health Geoinformatics Lab (MHG Lab), directed by Dr. Michael Widener, is a post-disciplinary research group focusing on the connections between health, geography, and social and physical environments, housed in the Department of Geography at the University of Cincinnati. Other faculty in the Department affiliated with the lab are Dr. Lin Liu, Dr. Changjoo Kim, and Dr. Susanna Tong

A growing body of academic work indicates that spatial factors can have profound effects (both positive and negative) on health outcomes. The goal of the MHG Lab is to conduct research that furthers the understanding of the role of space and place in health and medicine, leading to a more effective and efficient health care system.

Areas of emphasis include:

· Exploring how access to health, medical, and nutritional services affects public health

· Integrating mobility and complex spatial dynamics into health and medical research

· Establishing links between social (e.g. interpersonal networks) and physical (e.g. air pollution levels) environmental factors and differential health outcomes across space

Particular emphasis is placed upon utilizing the latest tools in data analytics (e.g. spatiotemporal analysis, data mining, agent-based modeling, and spatial optimization) to uncover the various roles of geography and behavior in public health and wellbeing, both at home in Cincinnati and in study regions across the world.

Latest Projects

- Dr. Widener will present work with collaborators from the University of Maryland Medical Center on evacuating patients to emergency care via air transport at the 2014 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

- Dr. Widener has first-authored a paper with colleagues from New York University, SUNY-Buffalo, Columbia University, and the National University of Singapore-Duke University, titled "Patterns of Chronic Conditions in Older Adults: Exploratory Spatial Findings from the ElderSmile Program" that will soon appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 

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