Seminar Series: Sensing Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 22, 2021, 3:00 pm — 4:00 pm

Join the seminar via the stream link at the time of the event — no registration required.

Sensing Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Leveraging Nontraditional Health Data to Provide Insights to Address Health Inequity

Enbal Shacham, PhD, leads the presentation describing selected research projects included in the initiatives that the Geospatial Institute and Sensing Health Group at St. Louis University have been leading.

This research has been providing community health insights through complementing nontraditional data to more traditional sorts of healthcare and public health data. Particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this research has shown to be supportive in providing predictive accuracy that would be useful in preparing for an infectious diseases outbreak within this pandemic, and preparedness for the next pandemic. As we have known in public health for decades, location matters in life expectancy. This pandemic has shown that health and social inequities have burdened communities of color throughout the country with higher rates of morbidity and mortality than previous experiences with such efficiency. As a field, we urgently need to know when, where, and how interventions can develop and implement more equitable health solutions.

To do this, we need to better understand how individuals within communities that we serve, live, work, and play. We have relied on home addresses to describe much of the geospatial health disparities; yet, more comprehensive data provides a better understanding of the social and environmental context of how to better build communities based on individual experiences. These studies have identified how different sources of data have been useful in accurately predicting increases in COVID-19 rates, detect where and when vaccine hesitancy may occur, and provide guidance on where and when to implement prevention efforts. The collaborative opportunities that exist and continue to grow due to the ubiquity of geospatial data allow a greater impact of the health of our communities.

Enbal Shacham, PhD Enbal Shacham, PhD
Professor, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University
Associate Director of the Geospatial Institute, Saint Louis University