Your Health, Predicted by a Map

If you've ever wondered which disease will be the disease that kills you, I recommend that you take the 9 minutes to watch this TEDMED video.


The opening evening of TEDMED, I was sitting near the front, waiting for presentations to start. I made casual conversation with the man next to me, before realizing that he was actually about to speak.

Actually, "speak" sounds like a bit of an overstatement. This guy, Bill Davenhall, was pitching me on the importance of maps. Maps! Boring old maps! What did maps have to do with the future of medicine?

So he explained a few cool things that maps could do. For instance, when combined with satellite imagery, they could track plants most common in areas of malaria outbreaks, warning residents before hindsight was 20/20.

Within about 2 minutes of chit chat, he'd sold me. Then, he got up on stage and showed this presentation, and I was floored by his thesis (what we should be able to do with data that we already possess). [TEDMED]



I totally disagree with those of you saying this is rubbish - he's talking about the ability to choose your risk factors and lower some of your health risks. Obviously there are other factors outside of geography, but in your city, would you prefer to live near the toxic area, the electrical plant, a few cell towers, or in some other area that wasn't any of those? Over Australia, there's a well-known hole in the ozone that puts people at about 90% risk of developing skin cancer, so in Australia, you can waltz into any doctor's office and FOR FREE, receive a quick check to see if you have any suspicious spots. That's pretty geographic. Well done, Mark. It's an interesting piece.