Esri launched a newer version of its geomedicine app, My Place History, which includes an updated version of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database. The app enables users to store a permanent list of all the places they have lived or work and the app creates a shareable report of any specific toxins that were reported within three miles of those addresses at that time.
We first mentioned the Esri My Places History app last October in our roundup of geolocation health apps. X years ago, Esri’s global manager of health and human services. At the 2009 TEDMED conference, Bill Davenhall, who leads the health and human services marketing team at geographic information service Esri, made the case that adding environmental data to patients’ charts — places the patients lived, types of chemicals and particulates found in those locations’ air — could be important in improving patient care. Davenhall’s case rested on the hypothesis that living in some environments may predispose a person to certain diseases, so having a conversation about geography should be a part of a patient’s visit with their physician.
“This application is useful in helping people understand the potential link between public health data stored in one database [toxic releases] and their individual places of residence or employment,” Davenhall said in a recent statement. “There is a great deal of data collected to benefit public health. Unfortunately, this information seldom gets into the hands of the health-seeking consumers presenting symptoms to their physicians.”
As of 2009, more than a third (11,700) of residential ZIP Codes, 27 percent (5,300) of cities, and more than 50 percent (1,500) of all counties in the US contained toxic releases recorded in the database released by the EPA, according to Esri. Not a single state escaped a toxic release reporting site that year. The TRI database tracks the specific location of some 525 chemicals that are known to be hazardous to human health.
For more read this press release below:
PRESS RELEASE: REDLANDS, Calif., June 4, 2012 — Esri today announced the release of My Place History 2.0, an updated version of the original unique iPhone and iPad application that provides personalized access to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) from the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) database across the United States. The My Place History 2.0 application features the recent TRI data and allows users to review vital environmental information from around the country.
Users can also store in the application a permanent list of all places they have lived or worked, which in turn links these places to the TRI database. The link allows the application to create a shareable report that inventories the specific toxic releases reported within three miles of the users’ addresses.
“This application is useful in helping people understand the potential link between public health data stored in one database [toxic releases] and their individual places of residence or employment,” said Bill Davenhall, Esri’s global manager of health and human services. “There is a great deal of data collected to benefit public health. Unfortunately, this information seldom gets into the hands of the health-seeking consumers presenting symptoms to their physicians.”
In 2009, more than one-third (11,700) of residential ZIP Codes, 27 percent (5,300) of cities, and more than 50 percent (1,500) of all counties in the United States contained toxic releases recorded in the database released by the EPA. No state escaped a toxic release reporting site in the 2009 TRI data. The TRI database contains the geographic location (latitude and longitude) of the more than 525 chemicals known to be hazardous to human health.
Most agricultural uses of chemicals and automobile emissions are not required to be reported. EPA’s toxic materials reported in My Place History are essentially those from manufacturing processes only. EPA has been collecting this type of data since 1983.
Applications like this are just the start of how society (patients and physicians) will benefit from the greater use of geographically relevant information and geographic information systems–a process Davenhall has coined geomedicine. Other data layers featured in the application are Dartmouth’s Health Atlas and regional Medicare heart attack rates.
Download the My Place History application from the Apple Store now.
About Esri Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com/news.