It Just Got a Lot Easier to Connect Health Data to Other Data

May 22, 2018

Malcolm Burnley

Next City

When you think about the most pressing problems in urban America, the word multifaceted comes to mind. To break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, we need to be looking at education. To improve education, we need to look at zero-tolerance policing. And so on.

That's especially true when it comes to health. The contributing factors are complex. Finding novel interventions to intractable problems like obesity and opioid overdoses, for example, require looking at data from a variety of areas both within and outside of healthcare fields. But these numbers exist in disparate data sets, often compiled by different organizations, with different methods - so they tend not to be so easy to manipulate. Enter a new tool for policymakers, researchers, and civic leaders to explore these connections in one place, the City Health Dashboard. Launched by the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine last week, the database presents an easy-to-navigate alternative to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder that brings together city-level and neighborhood-level numbers related to not only health but also its upstream and downstream factors — such as employment, housing and chronic absenteeism from school.

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