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HealthyState: Presenting Public Health Data to Promote Healthier Life Choices

Authors:

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Choosing where to live is an important health decision facing all. The difficulty involved in this decision-making process motivated us to design the HealthyState app. OBJETIVE: To help people make informed decisions based on how health conditions vary across 50 US states. METHODS: HealthyState transforms publicly available statistical data from the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Indicators Data Warehouse the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Family Foundation's State Health facts and United Health Foundation's America's State Health Rankings into usable visualizations. This data is transformed into a color-coded map of the US. The data for each state is presented as a human body whose shape and organ change based on representative health condition statistics. A person zooms in on a state from the interactive map of the US. Individual organs of the body are shaded in color according to the prevalence of health conditions related to that organ. For example, if heart disease is more prevalent in the selected state, then the heart will appear darker. Tapping on an organ shows an informational pop-up that provides a summary of the associated health conditions and statistics. The pop-up includes a More Info' button for detailed information about the health issue. CONCLUSION: We have applied computing and visualization techniques to make public health data available in a more accessible and user-friendly way. We hope this approach serves to enable people to more effectively incorporate health considerations when making important life decisions.
HealthyState: Presenting Public Health Data to
Promote Healthier Life Choices
Mukta Gundi, Department of Applied Health Sciences, Indiana University School of Public Health-
Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Michele Degges, Pervasive Health Information Technology, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana
University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Anthony Monaco, Pervasive Health Information Technology, School of Informatics and Computing,
Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Pranav Gupta, Pervasive Health Information Technology, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana
University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Matthew Holfelner, Netsmart Technologies, 7007 College Ave. Suite 550, Kansas City, KS
Sameer Patil, Pervasive Health Information Technology, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana
University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Kelly Caine, Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research (CLEAR) Health Information, School of
Informatics and Computing, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
INTRODUCTION: Choosing where to live is an important health decision facing all. The
difficulty involved in this decision-making process motivated us to design the HealthyState app.
OBJETIVE: To help people make informed decisions based on how health conditions vary
across 50 US states.
METHODS: HealthyState transforms publicly available statistical data from the Department of
Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Indicators Data Warehouse the Center for Disease
Control and Prevention, Kaiser Family Foundation's State Health facts and United Health
Foundation's America's State Health Rankings into usable visualizations. This data is transformed
into a color-coded map of the US. The data for each state is presented as a human body whose
shape and organ change based on representative health condition statistics. A person zooms in on
a state from the interactive map of the US. Individual organs of the body are shaded in color
according to the prevalence of health conditions related to that organ. For example, if heart
disease is more prevalent in the selected state, then the heart will appear darker. Tapping on an
organ shows an informational pop-up that provides a summary of the associated health conditions
and statistics. The pop-up includes a ‘More Info' button for detailed information about the health
issue.
CONCLUSION: We have applied computing and visualization techniques to make public health
data available in a more accessible and user-friendly way. We hope this approach serves to enable
people to more effectively incorporate health considerations when making important life
decisions.
Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Public health or related education
Learning Objectives:
To design an app that transforms public health data in a usable and comprehensible form with the help of
technology so as to use public health data in making life decisions
Keywords: Health Information Systems, Public Health
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