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Global Health Data Exchange Data Visualizations Released

Today the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) released several online tools to help users explore the wealth of health data found in their  Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010.  IHME is a research institute at the University of Washington dedicated to independent and rigorous measurement and evaluation of global health data, with the goal of improving overall health by providing policymakers with data to improve decision making.  This study, featured in The Lancet’s December 15, 2012 issue, was an epic undertaking to map disease, injury and risk factors in 187 countries across the globe from 1980 through 2010.  To collect the data for this study, a massive global collaboration amongst researchers was required and the end product has 488 co-authors from 50 different countries.

The resulting data set would be – surely by anyone’s definition – big data.  According to Peter Speyer, who spoke at the DRIVE conference in Seattle on February 21, data visualizations for the data were originally created for internal use because the data sets involved are just so big.  Happily, they have been publicly released to better help all people understand disease and health around the world.  The GDB Compare visualization, which allows the user to see rate of change in disease incidence, globally or by country, by age or across all ages, is especially powerful as a tool.  Be sure to try adding a bottom chart, like the map, to augment the treemap that loads by default in the top chart.

For more information see the press release from IHME.

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