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Event Keynote: Mapping the future of public health with GIS

March 10, 2022 11:36 AM | Sandra Crutcher (Administrator)
Mapping the future of public health with GIS

Alexander (Sandy) Watts

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed once again that location matters when it comes to our health. As we transform Canada’s public health system, it’s clear that GIS has the potential to bolster and enhance public health strategy.

In our keynote talk, we will walk through case studies to demonstrate how recent innovations in location intelligence and geospatial technology can enhance a wide spectrum of public health workflows, improve public health research and evaluation using novel sources of high-resolution spatio-temporal data, and help engage with communities using GIS dashboards and hub sites.

We will highlight how GIS can facilitate collaboration and engagement between multi-institutional health teams, decision makers, and the public. We will discuss the value GIS brings to the ongoing digital transformation of Canada’s public health systems to facilitate data sharing across jurisdictions, improve access to essential health services for all Canadians and ultimately, to help reduce health inequity.

Alexander (Sandy) Watts is the Public Health Industry Manager for Esri Canada. He is the lead of Esri Canada’s Public Health program, designed to support Canada’s public health community through the power of GIS and location intelligence. With a background in ecology, spatial statistics and infectious disease research, he has led various geospatial research projects for epidemic planning, preparedness, and response, developing GIS solutions that influenced policy decisions at the Public Health Agency of Canada, the US-CDC, and the World Health Organization. Sandy is passionate about the potential for location intelligence and GIS innovations to solve longstanding and future public health challenges, especially to reduce health inequity.

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