The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected vulnerable communities that lack the proper healthcare resources to aid in combating the disease. A recent study published at the University of Illinois is helping policymakers better identify Illinois communities that are in need.
The research paper, published in the International Journal of Health Geographics, demonstrates how to identify which geographic areas in the state are in need of additional COVID-19 healthcare resources. It does this by integrating innovative computational strategies and cutting-edge cyber geographic information science and systems (cyberGIS) capabilities to conduct computationally intensive spatial accessibility analysis.
For Shaowen Wang, head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science and one of the study’s authors, the paper’s approach directly combats the healthcare disparities caused by the shortage in critical healthcare resources due to an increased demand. The Chicagoland area and southern Chicago in particular have experienced additional need for resources since the beginning of the pandemic.