Lorentz Center - 1st International Symposium on Lifecourse Epidemiology and Spatial Science (ISLES) from 16 Jul 2018 through 20 Jul 2018
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    1st International Symposium on Lifecourse Epidemiology and Spatial Science (ISLES)
    from 16 Jul 2018 through 20 Jul 2018


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are non-infectious diseases or medical conditions that last for long periods of time and progress slowly. According to the World Health Organization Fact Sheets, the four major types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. NCDs have caused a progressive amount of healthcare spending and reduced the life qualify of patients. In particular, NCDs have disproportionately affected low- and middle-income countries, where almost three quarters (28 million) of all NCD deaths occurred in 2012. NCDs are normally caused by long-term exposure to the toxic/unhealthy environment, which, however, is difficult to be measured in traditional NCD research due to lack of tools. Hence, accurate measurements can be only be taken at a local scale.

Both the volume and availability of remote sensing (RS) satellite data are rapidly growing, especially those with high spatial resolution (e.g. <10m). Earth observation (EO) technologies feature the acquisition and processing of such data, and have been applied to a wide range of areas, such as health, population, ecology, agriculture, geology, and so forth. So far, EO technologies have not been involved in NCD studies as much as have they in studies of infectious diseases.

During this workshop, we will gather experts in both spatial science and public health to explore a variety of open questions, including but not limited to:

1)      What primarily hinder the development of applications of RS data/methods in NCD research?

2)      How could we link RS to NCD epidemiology in theory?

3)      How to break the isolation of two disciplines due to different principles and data/methods?

4)      How to measure life-course and life-space environmental exposures of survey participants?

At the end of this workshop, we aim to achieve the following goals:

1) To establish a protocol for collecting RS data, linking with cohort data, conducting research, and transforming findings into policy recommendations.

2) To make specific work plans based on the cohort data included in this workshop.

3) To form a collaborative group and to identify potential funding opportunities for collaboration.

4) To co-author and publish a research agenda on spatial health.

This will be an invitation-only event. The submission of a structured abstract of ≤350 words (Background, Objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusions) about applying 3S technologies (GIS and GPS, especially RS) to individual-level health research data can raise the chance of getting invited. Qualification of attendees will be evaluated by the Advisory Committee based on 1) the quality and relevance of submission to the workshop theme, 2) the track record of applicants, and 3) the time of applying. The invited scholars are expected to be notified at the end of March 2018. Inquiries should be addressed to Peng Jia (p.jia@utwente.nl).