THRIVE: Timely Health Indicators using Remote Sensing & Innovation for the Vitality of the Environment
Earth observations have been used for decades to benefit society. The Veterans Administration (VA) is the country’s largest health care provider, caring for seven million veterans. The project is aimed at enhancing the VA decision support tools in the area of public health and air quality utilizing multiple NASA Satellite and Earth Science Model Products. This environmental information will be integrated with the VA’s Decision Support Systems.
The project is based on a close collaboration with the VA to provide a three-fold enhancement of the existing VA decision support, namely:
- Personalized Health Alerts for Patients in the existing MyHealtheVet tool.
- New Tool for Logistical Planning for Emergency Rooms and Clinics.
- Improved Diagnosis Tools for Physicians.
We learn from the past to inform the future by using machine learning to determine the mapping from historical VA hospital admissions (all ICD codes) and prescriptions over the last decade to the environmental data provided by a suite of NASA products. The key goal is the sustained routine use of the NASA products beyond the end of this project.
The proposition being developed and tested is that global daily high resolution air quality data delivered as a web service is of tremendous measurable value for multiple application verticals in a suite of decision support tools. The daily data products derived from a suite of NASA datasets using machine learning will allow provision of proactive health care by the country’s largest health care provider, the VA, and proactive policy making and environmental reporting for the municipality of San Leandro, CA.
We will utilize the UTD Innovative Virtual Platform for Research Collaboration and Application (a state of the art telepresence facility) to have regular videoconferences with our partners across the country.
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We have made measurements using an electric, zero emissions, remote control model aircraft equipped with a compact methane sensor to quantify CH4 emissions around near-field gas and oil facilities. The remote control aircraft can sample much closer to local sources than conventional manned craft and higher maneuverability.
The scientific objectives are to address the following questions:
What are CH4 plume sizes and magnitudes from gas/oil facilities?
What are the spatial and temporal characteristics of the CH4 plumes?
What are the emissions of methane from these sources?
- Between 1901–2012, “almost the entire globe has experienced surface warming… Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.”
- ”The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia…. It is virtually certain that global mean sea level rise will continue beyond 2100.”
- ”Atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane, and N2O have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years….Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped.”
- “Heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer…. Extreme precipitation events…will very likely become more intense and more frequent by the end of this century.”
- ”A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September before mid-century is likely.”
- “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system…. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
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