1 November 2017

New virtual data center brings together global health and environment


Clinical health scientists and geographers both conduct research into factors that influence human health. The innovative Global Geo Health Data Center (GGHDC) brings together these two types of research, combining health and the environment as a single subject.

What, where and how

Numerous experts are constantly working to improve your health: not only those providing medical care, but also scientists, policymakers and entrepreneurs. To them, it is not only important to know what you do, but also where and how. The Global Geo Health Data Center (GGHDC) helps meet this need.

Health effects of the environment and lifestyle

The GGHDC conducts research into the health effects of the environment and lifestyle in relation to people's daily lives. The virtual research center is built around data infrastructure shared between Utrecht University and the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). Using advanced software and models, the scientists involved can link environmental datasets to large, often worldwide, cohort studies from medical science. This integration not only offers advantages to geographers and clinical health scientists, but also to policymakers, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals and the public.

Huge diversity of backgrounds

The data research within the GGHDC is being conducted by a wide range of researchers. “Our staff have a huge diversity of backgrounds”, explains Prof Martin Dijst, Professor of Urban Geography at Utrecht University and, together with the UMCU's Prof Rick Grobbee, co-founder of the GGHDC. “We have clinical health scientists, geographers, data scientists and IT specialists. All of them work together to collate data about health, lifestyle and the spatial environment in order to reveal correlations that were previously invisible.”

Read more