Massey University’s Environmental Health Indicators (EHI) team has released healthspace, an online visualisation tool for health-related data in New Zealand.
The website includes maps and profiles of more than 20 different health-related topics, including: alcohol related harm, cancer rates, hospital use, notifiable diseases and census information. Users can subscribe to be updated when new information is posted, principal analyst Caroline Fyfe from Massey’s Centre for Public Health Research says – making it a valuable resource for everyone from students to policy makers.
Healthspace allows the user to compare indicators of health status between regions and over time. Users will also be able to investigate relationships between indicators and view profiles of their local area. Dual maps allow data at regional and District Health Board levels to be viewed alongside each other.
Ms Fyfe says the team has worked hard to develop a user-friendly method for both displaying and analysing data from across the health sector. “We aim to add value by turning the data into information that is easily accessed and understood.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor of Massey’s College Health Professor Jane Mills says healthspace is an exciting addition to the health information of New Zealand. “Through the initiative of our EHI team, New Zealanders can visually explore the health status of their District Health Boards and regional and territorial authorities. A wide variety of data can be compared through an interactive, time animation map, bar charts which show the overall distribution of an indicator across the country, and graphs which illustrate time trends in various indicators,” she says.