By leveraging location intelligence to highlight the relationship between place and health, the University of Canberra introduced a research initiative to influence policy and help reduce Australia’s annual health expenditures.
Australian Geospatial Health Lab
The Australian Geospatial Health Lab (AGeoH-L) is a unique partnership between the University of Canberra and Geographic Information System global industry leader Esri for advanced spatial health research.
The Australian Geospatial Health Lab (AGeoH-L) unravels how relationships between environmental context and population composition together shape health. The focus is the active appraisal over time of dynamic, inferential relationships between people and places to inform improved public health and medical systems.
AGeoH-L supports better intelligence of health inequalities and the causes of change in these dynamics, especially those affecting disadvantaged populations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It also enables the evaluation of preventative interventions at the population level.
Collaborations and partnerships
AGeoH-L supports collaborations with partner organisations through secure portal-to-portal linkages where sensitive data need not be transferred but can be linked to environmental data through the AGeoH-L portal.
What is Distributed Collaboration?
- A way to establish trust with other deployments to share data quickly, easily and repeatedly
- Uses existing, familiar group sharing model to send content
- Makes data discoverable across disparate systems
This is underpinned by the systematic approach to indicator classification using a unique five-level relational typology for standardisation and comparison across jurisdictions and internationally.
Geographical Information Systems and Spatial Analysis
We use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis to model where people live and the environments they experience throughout their lives in order to explore the relationships between the built, natural and social environment and how these impact on health and wellbeing.
We conceptualise, measure and analyse these inter-related components from a human-ecological perspective that adopts environmental design with a population health approach to health-related policy, planning and practice. This approach emphasises the fundamental importance of understanding the dynamic interaction between individuals, households and neighbourhoods in social, cultural and physical environments which connect geographically defined communities of ‘health and place’.
Developing the evidence base for neighbourhood or ‘place-based’ effects, as well as uncovering the casual mechanisms through which they are mediated, has important and direct implications for public policy and the reduction of health disparities. Exploring specific forms of neighbourhood effects will have a high degree of relevance to health and urban policy.