Environmental Modelling for the Mitigation of Health Risks
The Earth Observation and ENVironmental modelling for the mitigation of HEAlth risks (EO2HEAVEN) project monitored environmental changes induced by human activities and enhanced integration of remotely sensed and in-situ environmental measurements with public health data. New insights were used to develop models relating environmental data to public health threats and to predict health risks.
Modern dangers to human health imposed by environmental change and urban development are posing new challenges to public health across the world. Living conditions and exposure to ambient natural environments are increasingly acknowledged to increase risks to human health. Environmental conditions are now known to cause cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, infectious diseases, and to reduce life expectancy.
The increase in the availability of environmental data from remote sensors, like satellites and user operated mobile devices, have created opportunities to investigate human-environment interactions. For many public health challenges however, direct links between the environment and the occurrence of disease are yet to be established.
Uniting information technologies and health science
As part of the EO2HEAVEN project, KIT Biomedical Research epidemiologists investigated the relationship between environmental determinants of health and disease.
In so doing KIT bridged the fields of public health, environmental epidemiology, IT and information sciences. Along the way, researchers developed innovative geo-spatial methods, tools and algorithms to analyse environmental risk factors that trigger disease or increase transmission during outbreaks of water-borne infectious disease.
These methods, tools and data requirements will be used in subsequent projects to develop early warning tools for health programs and intervention planning. See the EU website for more examples of how this project contributes to health mitigation in different regions.
The website of the Group on Earth Observations shows how EO2HEAVEN contributes to the international GEO initiative.