Population Health Laboratory

The goal of the Population Health Laboratory (PHL) is to promote population-based health and delivery of health care that is most effective for clinical, socio-demographic, and geographic groups. We have a strong focus in cancer care, including screening, treatment, and surveillance. We believe that how and where care is received influences treatment and outcomes. With a special emphasis in how health care resources are allocated across populations, the PHL uses cross-disciplinary, geospatial innovation in data-driven research to address critical questions related to population health and health care delivery. The PHL research program is largely built around our expertise in the integration of population health, health services research, registries, geospatial data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and informatics. The PHL is directed by Dr. Tracy Onega. Dr. Onega also co-leads the Registry Shared Resource of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Selected Current Projects:
“Development of a dynamic web-integrated spatio-temporal platform for national monitoring of technology diffusion: the example of digital breast tomosynthesis”

“A GeoComputational Approach to Giving Population Context to Social Media: ‘Textation’ without Representation?”

Cross-disciplinary toolkit: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), geospatial measures, registry and database development, web content mining, travel time and service area analysis, demographic analysis, statistical analysis

Example publications: 

Alford-Teaster, J, Lange, J.M, Hubbard, R.A, Lee, C, Haas, J.S, Shi, X, Carlos, H.A., Henderson, L, Hill, D, Tosteson, A. ScD, Onega, T. Is the closest facility the one actually used? An assessment of travel time estimation based on mammography facilities. Int J Health Geographics. 2016 February. 15:8. DOI: 10.1186/s12942-016-0039-7

Wang F, Onega T. Accessibility of cancer care: disparities, outcomes and mitigation. Annals of GIS. 2015/04/03 2015;21(2):119-125.

Onega T, Alford-Teaster J, Andrews S, Ganoe C, Perez M, King D, Shi X. . Why Health Services Research Needs Geoinformatics: Rationale and Case Example . Health & Medical Informatics 2014;6(176). http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2157-7420.1000176

Onega T, Lee, C, Benkeser, D, Alford-Teaster, J, Haas, JS, Tosteson, A, Hill, D, Shi, X, Henderson, LM Hubbard, RA. Travel burden to breast MRI and utilization: are risk and sociodemographics related. J Am Coll Radiol. In Press.

Onega T, Reisch LM, Frederick PD, Geller BM, Nelson HD, Lott JP, Radick AC, Elder DE, Barnhill RL, Piepkorn MW, Elmore JG (2015, In press). Use of digital whole slide imaging in dermatopathology. J Digit Imaging. [Epub ahead of print]

Onega T, Hubbard R, Hill D, Lee CI, Haas JS, Carlos HA, Alford-Teaster J, Bogart A, DeMartini WB, Kerlikowske K, Virnig BA, Buist DS, Henderson L, Tosteson AN. Geographic access to breast imaging for U.S. women. J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 May 30. pii: S1546-1440(14)00161-6.

Onega T, Beaber EF, Sprague BL, Barlow WE, Haas JS, Tosteson AN, D Schnall M, Armstrong K, Schapira MM, Geller B, Weaver DL, Conant EF. Breast cancer screening in an era of personalized regimens: A conceptual model and National Cancer Institute initiative for risk-based and preference-based approaches at a population level. Cancer. 2014 May 15.

Onega T, Tosteson TD, Wang Q, Hillner BE, Song Y, Siegel BA, Tosteson AN. Geographic and sociodemographic disparities in PET use by Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. J Am Coll Radiol. 2012 Sep;9(9):635-42.