THE KEY ROLE OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION IN EXPOSOMICS: THE EXAMPLE OF THE H2020 PULSE PROJECT
Exposomics is a novel concept that indicates the combination of all the external factors we are exposed to throughout our entire life, as the environment we live in, our lifestyle and behavior are able to have a notable influence on our health. The quantity and typology of environmental factors we are exposed to are clearly dependent on the geographical location of each individual, e.g. some areas are more polluted that others and even the social characteristics of a certain place can have an effect on the way we behave, exposing us to different levels of risk of developing certain diseases or exacerbating existing ones. In this context, the PULSE project, briefly described in this paper, is building an advanced system to identify the effect of a complex set of environmental and social exposures in the big cities, that represent the most complicated environment from this point of view, and mitigate health risk related to common diseases such as asthma, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This system is composed by several parts, most of which apply advanced spatial analytics and geographic information-based tools to estimate health risk in a precise way, providing both citizens and public health officers with tools to monitor it. This paper summarizes the work performed in the project using these analytics, and quickly describes some of the tools in which geographic information has been applied in the most innovative way.