AI provides new tools for analyzing body data—creating an emerging vocabulary of ways to analyze and mediate our relationships with our body. Despite an expanding definition of healthcare, the ability to access to healthcare seems to become more restrictive over time. These issues of access disproportionately target certain communities—often the same communities that are dealing with increased healthcare issues to begin with.
For instance, according to UC Davis researchers, “California’s metro areas have greater temperature disparities between their poorest and wealthiest neighborhoods than any other state in the southwestern U.S.” Extreme heat is the deadliest consequence of climate change, with a Times analysis finding that extreme heat caused about 3,900 deaths. Cities especially impacted by heat waves due to absence of trees that can provide shade are those in District 5, which covers Pasadena and Brooklyn but also territories further north like Santa Clarita and Palmdale. As we deal with a worsening climate, the danger of these “heat islands” continue to grow. Data reviewed by The Times show “heat-related hospital visits have been increasing in some parts of California, including Los Angeles County, for at least the last 15 years.”
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In the future, AI helps target where best to deliver healthcare by determining which communities are most impacted by specific conditions. Data systems that interface with GIS can also determine which of these high-risk areas are underserved in terms of an accessible healthcare response relative to transportation options. In a city that often requires cars to get around, AI can help determine whether there is enough healthcare capacity that is accessible to public transportation—while also supporting the development of better public transit networks over time.
It can also help target the underlying issues that make these areas less safe. For instance, AI can be used to support LA County’s tree-planting initiative by supporting distributed volunteer groups. With AI-support citizen GIS tools, local volunteers can not only identify communities that most need urban tree cover, but also see where recently planted trees may need watering and other care. As trees mature, remote geospatial tracking of pest outbreaks help target resources to stop the spread and keep up a thick canopy that can provide coverage against rising temperatures.
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