Este Geraghty, MD, MS, MPH, GISP: Geomedicine is an emerging field that focuses on taking geographic location and environment into account when analyzing individual and public health … Doctors with hyperlocal insight into where a patient lives, works, plays, and has traveled can more readily understand the water-, air-, and soilborne contaminants to which a patient has been exposed. Location also helps pinpoint exposure to different vectors (such as mosquitos and ticks) and the pathogens they carry (such as the Zika virus or Lyme disease). (Read More by Dr. Geraghty …)
Medical Geology is defined as the science dealing with the relationship between geological factors and health problems in humans, animals and plants (cf. Selinus 2002; Finkelman et al. 2001). Medical geology could be recognised also as geomedicine, but medical geography on the other hand has had a slightly different meaning that is related to the broader field of medical geology. Medical geography looks at the geographical distribution of disease while not focusing on the underlying geology; it examines the causal associations between specific diseases and the physical and social environments (Foster, 2002). The field of study is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach using a wide variety of specialists from geologists, geochemists and medical doctors to veterinarians and biologists. Source: https://www.medicalgeology.org/
RESOURCE | GEOMEDICINE
Resources like the Toxic Release Inventory National Analysis from the EPA have maps that show where activities that might be hazardous to a patient’s health occur, such as coal mining or chemical manufacturing. This type of information can help you determine what health problems to look for in patients from a particular community.
Geomedicine is an emerging field that focuses on taking geographic location and environment into account when analyzing individual and public health. While many of its applications remain in the research phase, the question still stands – will it translate from academia to real world situations?
At first glance, the response seems positive. Knowing your patient lives in an area with high carbon dioxide emissions could help explain their breathing problems. But the issue with geomedicine has less to do with potential benefits than practicality. Could your practice actually utilize geomedicine?
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