Google Street View Images as Predictors of Patient Health Outcomes, 2017–2019

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2022-01-27

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Nguyen, Q.C.; Belnap, T.; Dwivedi, P.; Deligani, A.H.N.; Kumar, A.; Li, D.; Whitaker, R.; Keralis, J.; Mane, H.; Yue, X.; et al. Google Street View Images as Predictors of Patient Health Outcomes, 2017–2019. Big Data Cogn. Comput. 2022, 6, 15.

Abstract

Collecting neighborhood data can both be time- and resource-intensive, especially across broad geographies. In this study, we leveraged 1.4 million publicly available Google Street View (GSV) images from Utah to construct indicators of the neighborhood built environment and evaluate their associations with 2017–2019 health outcomes of approximately one-third of the population living in Utah. The use of electronic medical records allows for the assessment of associations between neighborhood characteristics and individual-level health outcomes while controlling for predisposing factors, which distinguishes this study from previous GSV studies that were ecological in nature. Among 938,085 adult patients, we found that individuals living in communities in the highest tertiles of green streets and non-single-family homes have 10–27% lower diabetes, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, but higher substance use disorders—controlling for age, White race, Hispanic ethnicity, religion, marital status, health insurance, and area deprivation index. Conversely, the presence of visible utility wires overhead was associated with 5–10% more diabetes, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and substance use disorders. Our study found that non-single-family and green streets were related to a lower prevalence of chronic conditions, while visible utility wires and single-lane roads were connected with a higher burden of chronic conditions. These contextual characteristics can better help healthcare organizations understand the drivers of their patients’ health by further considering patients’ residential environments, which present both risks and resources.

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