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.

Mar 6th, 2011

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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... 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... order to help me help you help them.

Copyright 2016 Esri
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