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Towards Web-based representation and processing of health information.

Gao S, Mioc D, Yi X, Anton F, Oldfield E, Coleman DJ - Int J Health Geogr (2009)

Bottom Line: The designed HERXML has been proven to be an appropriate solution in supporting the Web representation of health information.The utilization of Web-based processing services in this study provides a flexible way for users to select and use certain processing functions for health data processing and mapping via the Web.This research provides easy access to geospatial and health data in understanding the trends of diseases, and promotes the growth and enrichment of the CGDI in the public health sector.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. sheng.gao@unb.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: There is great concern within health surveillance, on how to grapple with environmental degradation, rapid urbanization, population mobility and growth. The Internet has emerged as an efficient way to share health information, enabling users to access and understand data at their fingertips. Increasingly complex problems in the health field require increasingly sophisticated computer software, distributed computing power, and standardized data sharing. To address this need, Web-based mapping is now emerging as an important tool to enable health practitioners, policy makers, and the public to understand spatial health risks, population health trends and vulnerabilities. Today several web-based health applications generate dynamic maps; however, for people to fully interpret the maps they need data source description and the method used in the data analysis or statistical modeling. For the representation of health information through Web-mapping applications, there still lacks a standard format to accommodate all fixed (such as location) and variable (such as age, gender, health outcome, etc) indicators in the representation of health information. Furthermore, net-centric computing has not been adequately applied to support flexible health data processing and mapping online.

Results: The authors of this study designed a HEalth Representation XML (HERXML) schema that consists of the semantic (e.g., health activity description, the data sources description, the statistical methodology used for analysis), geometric, and cartographical representations of health data. A case study has been carried on the development of web application and services within the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) framework for community health programs of the New Brunswick Lung Association. This study facilitated the online processing, mapping and sharing of health information, with the use of HERXML and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services. It brought a new solution in better health data representation and initial exploration of the Web-based processing of health information.

Conclusion: The designed HERXML has been proven to be an appropriate solution in supporting the Web representation of health information. It can be used by health practitioners, policy makers, and the public in disease etiology, health planning, health resource management, health promotion and health education. The utilization of Web-based processing services in this study provides a flexible way for users to select and use certain processing functions for health data processing and mapping via the Web. This research provides easy access to geospatial and health data in understanding the trends of diseases, and promotes the growth and enrichment of the CGDI in the public health sector.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

A WPS for health data processing. The flow shows the input data, output data, and processing components of the designed WPS.
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Figure 4: A WPS for health data processing. The flow shows the input data, output data, and processing components of the designed WPS.

Mentions: The procedure of our WPS design is shown in Figure 4. The input includes health data and parameters. The health data for the Web-based processing could be stored in the server (in databases or files) or acquired through remote access (through web services or remote transfers). The parameters can be encoded by Key/Value pairs or XML, including the disease type, gender, age group, statistical method, time interval, spatial layer, and thematic mapping variables. The output of the processing could be either in the raster data format (JPEG, PNG, GIF) or in the vector data format (HERXML). The use of HERXML in processing can enhance people's understanding of the resulting health information mapped. In the configuration of the WPS, the access of WPS can be limited to certain domains or IP addresses. The WPS can be further divide into fine granularity, with one processing service for the statistical calculation and the other processing service for the thematic mapping.


Towards Web-based representation and processing of health information.

Gao S, Mioc D, Yi X, Anton F, Oldfield E, Coleman DJ - Int J Health Geogr (2009)

A WPS for health data processing. The flow shows the input data, output data, and processing components of the designed WPS.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2651125&req=5

Figure 4: A WPS for health data processing. The flow shows the input data, output data, and processing components of the designed WPS.
Mentions: The procedure of our WPS design is shown in Figure 4. The input includes health data and parameters. The health data for the Web-based processing could be stored in the server (in databases or files) or acquired through remote access (through web services or remote transfers). The parameters can be encoded by Key/Value pairs or XML, including the disease type, gender, age group, statistical method, time interval, spatial layer, and thematic mapping variables. The output of the processing could be either in the raster data format (JPEG, PNG, GIF) or in the vector data format (HERXML). The use of HERXML in processing can enhance people's understanding of the resulting health information mapped. In the configuration of the WPS, the access of WPS can be limited to certain domains or IP addresses. The WPS can be further divide into fine granularity, with one processing service for the statistical calculation and the other processing service for the thematic mapping.

Bottom Line: The designed HERXML has been proven to be an appropriate solution in supporting the Web representation of health information.The utilization of Web-based processing services in this study provides a flexible way for users to select and use certain processing functions for health data processing and mapping via the Web.This research provides easy access to geospatial and health data in understanding the trends of diseases, and promotes the growth and enrichment of the CGDI in the public health sector.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. sheng.gao@unb.ca

ABSTRACT

Background: There is great concern within health surveillance, on how to grapple with environmental degradation, rapid urbanization, population mobility and growth. The Internet has emerged as an efficient way to share health information, enabling users to access and understand data at their fingertips. Increasingly complex problems in the health field require increasingly sophisticated computer software, distributed computing power, and standardized data sharing. To address this need, Web-based mapping is now emerging as an important tool to enable health practitioners, policy makers, and the public to understand spatial health risks, population health trends and vulnerabilities. Today several web-based health applications generate dynamic maps; however, for people to fully interpret the maps they need data source description and the method used in the data analysis or statistical modeling. For the representation of health information through Web-mapping applications, there still lacks a standard format to accommodate all fixed (such as location) and variable (such as age, gender, health outcome, etc) indicators in the representation of health information. Furthermore, net-centric computing has not been adequately applied to support flexible health data processing and mapping online.

Results: The authors of this study designed a HEalth Representation XML (HERXML) schema that consists of the semantic (e.g., health activity description, the data sources description, the statistical methodology used for analysis), geometric, and cartographical representations of health data. A case study has been carried on the development of web application and services within the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) framework for community health programs of the New Brunswick Lung Association. This study facilitated the online processing, mapping and sharing of health information, with the use of HERXML and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) services. It brought a new solution in better health data representation and initial exploration of the Web-based processing of health information.

Conclusion: The designed HERXML has been proven to be an appropriate solution in supporting the Web representation of health information. It can be used by health practitioners, policy makers, and the public in disease etiology, health planning, health resource management, health promotion and health education. The utilization of Web-based processing services in this study provides a flexible way for users to select and use certain processing functions for health data processing and mapping via the Web. This research provides easy access to geospatial and health data in understanding the trends of diseases, and promotes the growth and enrichment of the CGDI in the public health sector.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus