Since the late 18th Century, health indicator maps have played a crucial role in the spatial description of disease. More than two hundred years have elapsed between the earliest works in 1798 on the yellow fever pandemic in New York and the current atlases on social and health indicators. During this time, spatial analysis techniques have made enormous progress.
The advent of complex mathematical models, advances in data processing systems and the availability of powerful Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been extremely useful for both epidemiology and healthcare planning, management and policy, thus contributing to broadening our knowledge on public health, while also improving the design of healthcare intervention strategies in numerous countries.
Within this methodological area of research, DEMAP has proposed different statistical models to tackle the geographical distribution of health indicators and analysis of their trends over time, all of which have been published in journals specialising in mathematical statistics. The statistical methods used by DEMAP encompass the following:
- Hierarchical Bayesian models
- Multi-level modelsl
- Analysis of trends and time-limited series
- Deigning statistical models using R and S-PLUS software programmes
The main outcomes of this line of work are described in the publications section on this web site.