Scientific Technologies Corporation Adds Geography to Immunization Intelligence Already Captured in Public Health Immunization Systems
The role of geography in healthcare was first brought to light in a 2009 TedMed talk by Bill Davenhall, former Director of Health and Human Services at ESRI. The talk, titled “Your Health Depends On Where you Live” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62cNtvx6P8E) was responsible for the concept of "geomedicine."
Phoenix, AZ (PRUnderground) August 13th, 2018
STC announced this week during the American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA) conference that their new Immunization Intelligence platform has adopted the concept of geomedicine. In partnership with Bill Davenhall, STC is utilizing geography and immunization coverage rates to develop a strategy with vaccine manufacturers, retail pharmacies, and public health that will improve vaccine-preventable disease outcomes.
The core concept of geomedicine is that geography, where you live and work, plays a factor in your health and when armed with this information, a physician is better able to diagnose and provide treatment. STC President Todd Watkins said, “This is true with your immunizations as well. Today it will help us better protect the unprotected, but tomorrow it well could be that the type of flu shot that best protects you is specific to the region you live in.”
Davenhall noted, “Immediately we began to see immunization coverage gaps differently. We noticed the age of new mothers was increasing, which offers insight into public health outreach efforts that could take advantage of smartphone technology and their social networks to ensure their children and equally important their aging parents were fully immunized. We saw geographically and demographical immunization gaps between stores in a retail pharmacy chain providing new opportunities for targeted-shopper campaigns and pharmacist education.”
Public health immunization systems are significant health data assets. Physicians, healthcare providers and pharmacists report the patient immunizations they give every day. Technology to accelerate electronic record exchange is increasing the quantity and quality of information reported. The ability to use this information to engage and empower the healthcare provider, as well as consumers, is a core mission of STC. Understanding the value of geography within this ecosystem has just begun.
Todd Watkins added, “For those whose mission it is to reduce the impact of vaccine-preventable disease, the conscious effort to identify immunization coverage gaps in subpopulations is a pressing problem. The ability to know subpopulation immunization coverage gaps geographically and demographically, along with the healthcare characteristics of the area, would prove useful in increasing immunization rates, reducing the cost of healthcare, and creating empowered communities of health awareness.”
As key members of the immunization ecosystem, STChealth has spent 33 years developing public health immunization systems used across the U.S. and internationally. And now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, STChealth is being called to action to enable consumer-facing digital test results and immunity status, increase data exchange connections to prepare for vaccine distribution and administration, arm our pharmacy network with the tools for lab reporting and case management, and assist providers, employers, pharmacies and Public Health with analytics to support decision making. STChealth’s National Immunization Data Exchange Network processes over 1 million immunization events daily, delivering valuable decision support and ultimately resulting in closing immunization gaps in care.