How Do We Help Ourselves Get Healthier?

Bill Davenhall, Esri health and human services manager, tells you why he believes that GIS can deliver on the promise of a healthier future.

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00:01I lead a team at Esri that works with customers and prospects that are called doctors, nurses, social workers.

00:09We work with health care professionals.

00:11We work with public health professionals and with medical researchers.

00:17These folks, in turn, worry every day about illness, disease, premature death...

00:26...topics that I would have to admit, it's not your typical early GIS adopter crowd.

00:34And if some of you have ever attempted to work in that industry, you probably will agree with me.

00:41This is a tough audience to bring the promise of GIS.

00:46But I have a surprise for you today, but before I spill that surprise...

00:52...I want to introduce you to some of the folks that I know care deeply...

00:57...about what you and I do with our GIS knowledge and expertise.

01:04I'd like to introduce you to babies.

01:07They're really newborns, but if you think about it...

01:10...these newborns don't get a chance to have any say in where they're going to be born.

01:17In fact, they get no choice as to the quality of the air they're going to breathe...

01:21...or what kinds of quality of the food or the beverages that they're going to consume.

01:27In fact, I would argue that a baby's best chance in this world for a healthful and productive life is us.

01:39And, of course, we always hope that all our babies will grow up to be children.

01:44Not all of them get to do that.

01:48The child's body and mind struggle every day to cope in an environment that we have really created for them.

01:58So in some ways, we who sit in this room are ultimately responsible in some small way for creating the world that they must live in.

02:10And, of course, there's us, the adults.

02:13We get to make lots of choices in our life.

02:15Some of us get to choose where we live.

02:17We get to choose the foods and the beverages that we drink.

02:22But ultimately, we're also captive of the environments in which we live.

02:27Some of us do well in handling those kinds of environments, and some of us don't do so well, as pictured here.

02:35In my view, and in the view of the team that I lead...

02:39...we believe the benefits of the promise of this GIS have to come to all these people, not just a few, but to all of them.

02:49So in our view, place is really important to all these people.

02:55It is probably the bedrock upon which society will either make great progress and move forward or not.

03:04If I were to tell you that these problems exist all over the world, you probably already get this.

03:13You read your newspaper every day.

03:15You realize there's no shortage of these kinds of human trauma that are playing out all over the world.

03:22But if I were to suggest to you that there's 130 million people that will die in the next 12 months...

03:29...for conditions that we already know how to prevent, and if I told you a third of those were children under 5 years of age...

03:40...doesn't that make you want to do something?

03:44I know it does for me.

03:48Well, here's my secret.

03:51The health market is positioned to grow.

03:55My evidence is that 119 out of the 192 national health ministries in the world have already acquired some type of Esri technology.

04:09All 50 states in the United States have acquired it.

04:12Many social service agencies have acquired it.

04:16So what's the problem?

04:21Well, one of the problems is, they don't know how to use it that efficiently.

04:26And you can see this map that shows you all the countries that have already acquired this technology.

04:32In fact, in the last decade, they've acquired over $200 million of Esri technology in the health and human market.

04:43That's not an insignificant amount.

04:45So if you're wondering why they're struggling with it, I'm going to give you four good examples of things that they need to do...

04:51...and they need your help to do it.

04:54First of all, they must begin to move to a much more focused approach in their work.

05:00They must move from broad data and the revelations that that brings to much more focused kinds of applications.

05:09They also must draw in more health-seeking consumers, because we got to get to people before they get ill...

05:16...and before they get diseases and before they run into problems that will affect their life.

05:22And so they need to learn how to move from the very complex to what I call the simple, the consumer approach...

05:28...as to how to consume this information.

05:31They also have to move from an era where they begin to look at the basic reporting processes and workflows that they have...

05:40...into building systems where they accelerate the intervention that needs to take place.

05:47They need desperate help in these areas.

05:51They also must learn to be more efficient.

05:53They must learn how to move from paper to computer.

05:58You've been to the doctor's office.

06:00You've been in the health care environment.

06:01You know that this is a major issue before really the world of how to rid it of the paper and the confusion that paper has caused.

06:11And lastly, they must learn how to deal with accountability.

06:15This is a headline from someplace here in the United States where a social service agency lost a thousand children overnight.

06:22They didn't know where they were.

06:24So suddenly we now see the need that they must step up this race to accountability.

06:32So what I'd like to say to you today is, why does Bill Davenhall and his team get up every day and go to work at Esri...

06:41...or go to the airport?

06:42It's because we feel compelled to deliver on the promise of this great technology...

06:49...and that the minds that are in this room to serve the people that I've shown you here today.

06:55So I invite you to devote some of your time and talent, your creative GIS ingenuity into the health and human service space...

07:04...in order to help me help you help them.

Copyright 2014 Esri
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