Geographical information systems and health: current state and future directions

Healthc Inform Res. 2012 Jun;18(2):88-96. doi: 10.4258/hir.2012.18.2.88. Epub 2012 Jun 30.


This paper provides an introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and how they can be used. It reviews the current state of GIS use in health care before identifying the barriers to more pervasive use of GIS in health. Finally, it makes recommendations for the direction of health GIS research over the next decade and concludes with a call to action to health informatics researchers to stop ignoring a tool and methodology that has such immense potential for improving the health of our communities.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Geographic Information Systems; Medical Informatics; Public Health; Public Health Informatics.