Fusing geo and health data to
high-end health knowledge

DEVELOPMENT OF ALGORITHMS AND MODELLING FRAMEWORK FOR HARDWARE-SCALABLE TOOLS AND APPLICATIONS TO GEOGRAPHICAL DATA-ANALYSIS

The large volume of geo-health data requires software tools capable of analysis and modelling at high-performance computing facilities (HPC). In this PhD-project, we develop algorithms for spatial systems that can be run on distributed computers. We will cooperate with SURFsara: the national supercomputer center in the Netherlands.

META-MODELLING OF SUSTAINABLE CITY SYSTEMS

Assessing environmental exposure requires uniform solutions for modelling human mobility and exposures along space-time tracks of individuals. In this PhD-project, we develop a domain-specific programming language that eases development of software for exposure assessment by integrating object and field representations of geographical systems. Read more about this project on the website.

PCRASTER

The PCRaster project at Utrecht University develops spatio-temporal modelling software frameworks with a focus on modelling heterogeneous, large, spatio-temporal systems. The exposure assessment techniques applied in the GGHDC use software libraries from PCRaster. More information? Visit the PCRaster site here.

MEASURING AND DETECTING HEALTHY BEHAVIOUR

In this project, we develop new methods for sensing environmental exposures and health status. Partners include universities, research institutes and companies in health and environmental research. In our case study, we apply methods for exposure assessment to a case study on air pollution. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). More? Visit the project’s website.

SURVEY OF RISK FACTORS (SURF)

In this project members of the GGHDC team support the SURF-team (global survey for cardiovascular risk factors) to enrich the SURF dataset with open access air pollution data.

THE RELATION BETWEEN FAST-FOOD OUTLET DENSITY AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE INCIDENCE

With the GGHDC we determine the fast-food outlet (FF) density for every individual in the Netherlands for a number of buffers (500m, 100m, 3000m). In this project, we link nationwide registers to create a nationwide sample of persons free from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Then we determine the fast-food outlet density for every individual. Next, we follow these individuals over a period of time to investigate who will suffer from a CVD event and whether this is related to the number of FF outlets.

Needs

To what extent are daily exposures to urban environments related to depression? Are previous urban environments of the residential histories a risk factor for suicide? Such questions are relevant for science and also for policymakers and will be addresses in the NEEDS project. The project receives funding through a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

AIR POLLUTION EXPOSURE OF CHILDREN AND HEALTH STATUS

In this project we develop a methodology to assess the individual air pollution exposure of children. The individual exposure is linked with the health status of children in the age of 5 to observe any relation with the exposure levels. An improved methodology for assessing individual exposure will be an added value towards a better urban environment since air pollution is a major health threat in several parts of the world.

GEOGRAPHIES OF FOOD CONSUMPTION

In this research project, food outlet exposure (e.g. fast-food outlets, supermarkets) is quantified using exposure assessment techniques. Food outlet exposure variables are linked to existing cohorts studies, national health registers and GPS-tracks of Dutch citizens. Associations between food outlet exposure and dietary intake and health status are determined. Moreover, socio-economic differences in urban foodscapes are analyzed. The project is funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO MaGW Veni, project number 451-16-029).