A year of tracking on a complete street: The Metropolitan Branch Trail

By | Center for Total Health, Healthy Living, Infographics | No Comments
Infographic - tracking a complete street - a year of active transportation - center for total health

Infographic – tracking a complete street – a year of active transportation – center for total health (View on Flickr.com)

The Center for Total Health just marked its one year anniversary of population sensing on the street outside our building, 2nd Street, NE, which also happens to be the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

We learned through sensing the trail that it’s very much alive – up to 1,200 people walk it every day!

In 2015, the section of the trail we innovate on also added a Capital Bikeshare station, and became a complete street, when both sides of 2nd Street were completed.

With the help of Washington, D.C.’s Open Data Diplomat, Michael Schade, we created an infographic showing how we can quantify our streets and communities in the 21st Century.

If you’d like to learn more about our program to quantify the trail:  What Exactly IS the Trail Modeling & Assessment Platform, and Why Do We Care?

Feel free to share, and let us know if you have any questions. Active transportation is the future, and it’s the present for us 🙂 .

Keeping the Men in Your Life Healthy

By | Audio, Health, Healthy Living, Infographics, Podcast | No Comments

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.22.59 PMMany men avoid visiting the doctor. We often joke about it, but when our dads, brothers, partners or friends put off having something looked at, it can result in very real consequences. Even though women on average visit the doctor 20 percent more often than men, it is men who have much higher hospitalization rates for preventable conditions.

So why do men seem to go out of their way to prevent calling the doc? Many men simply aren’t used to communicating about how they feel and aren’t comfortable asking for help.

Total Health Radio has dedicated an entire podcast episode to this topic, including tips for supporting the men in your life in staying healthy. You can check it out — along with additional information and resources — at its official web page. You can also listen to it here, via Stitcher

And to see the above infographic in its entirety, click here for the full-sized version.

Stay Safe This Summer

By | Health, Healthy Living, Infographics | No Comments

While most of us look forward with great anticipation to summer’s long days filled with warmth and fun, there is a less sunny side to the story: ER visits actually peak in the summertime months.

kp-infographic-2015-er-summer-months-550x730Fear not: There are things we can each do to plan ahead and protect our family and ourselves. From heat-related illness to water safety, travel to cookouts, this piece from our friends at KP Share has it covered — not to mention a handy infographic perfect for printing out and putting up on the fridge as a reminder (you can also click on the image for a larger, printer-friendly version).

Check out all of the resources and tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Red Cross and Kaiser Permanente in the full article.

So…how are those New Year’s resolutions doing right about now?

By | Audio, Food, Healthy Living, Infographics, Obesity Prevention & Treatment, Podcast | No Comments

Medium Sized - GoodFadUgly_colorFor all of us who set a few weight- or fitness-themed resolutions on January 1, now might be a good time to check in on how we’re doing. Our friends at Total Health Radio have shared this infographic they crafted around their episode called, “Diets: The Good, the Fad, and the Ugly.” It includes great tips around evaluating popular eating plans as well as simple guidelines for how to make healthy eating choices.

If you missed the show when it first aired, fear not — we’ve embedded it below. Check it out.

The Buzz from SXSW Interactive, Health Track Edition!

By | Health, Health Innovation, Health IT, Infographics, Mobility / Mobile Health | No Comments

SXSWSunInfographicWe’ve captured the buzz and analysis of yesterday’s health track sessions at South by Southwest in this info graphic, one of five we’ve published from SXSW Interactive so far. We’ve shared each digital newsroom info graphic through social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. You also can see each infographic here: http://w.cg/sxswkp.

USDA Supports Better Health for Kids with New “Smart Snacks in Schools” Guidelines

By | Food, Infographics, Obesity Prevention & Treatment, Schools | No Comments

PrintThe USDA announced this week the latest addition to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010: The “Smart Snacks in Schools” nutrition standards.  Highlights of these new standards. according to the website, include:

    • More of the foods we should encourage.
    • Less of the foods we should avoid.
    • Targeted beverage standards allowing variation by age group.
    • Flexibility for important traditions.
    • Ample time for implementation.

The infographic here illustrates the difference in school snacks before and after introduction of the standards.

More on this news can be found on the Thriving Schools blog or via the USDA’s official press release.

An Innovative Way to Engage Patients at the Point of Care

By | Care Delivery, Experts, Health Innovation, Health IT, Health Sector, Infographics, Mobility / Mobile Health | No Comments


Last week at HIMSS in New Orleans, one of the booths that captured our attention was that of Archimedes, a company focused on bringing quantifiable analysis to health care.  The folks from Archimedes were at HIMSS to talk about their product, IndiGO – which stands for Individualized Guidelines and Outcomes.  IndiGO is a clinical decision support tool designed for doctors and other care providers to use at the point of care with their patients.  According to the Archimedes website, IndiGO calculates and displays the risk a patient has of adverse events – such as heart attacks, strokes, and onset of diabetes. IndiGO then suggests and prioritizes the medications and/or lifestyle interventions that have the greatest impact on reducing that risk.

Rishi Misra, Implementation Manager for Archimedes, was kind enough to spend some time with us to talk about IndiGO, how it works, and why it’s such a powerful tool for engaging a patient in decisions about their health care.

CTH Blog:

Why don’t you start by providing some background on Archimedes?

Rishi Misra:

Archimedes was founded by David Eddy, one of the pioneers in bringing evidence-based practices to medicine.  David recognized that many medical decisions were not being made based on the best available evidence.  He wanted to integrate a more evidenced-based approach of making medical decisions based on statistics and clinically validated data. Based on that need, he built what we call the Archimedes Model. The Archimedes Model and the data engine that powers it are the foundation from which the tools the company offers today are built.

Archimedes was established as a part of Kaiser Permanente, and in 2006 it was spun out as a Kaiser Innovation – an independent, for-profit entity.

CTH Blog:

In layman’s terms, what is IndiGO, and how is it used?


IndiGO is a clinical-decision support tool used to manage patient health at the point of care by showing patients what their risk is of certain adverse events on a five-year time horizon, and in some cases even over a lifetime. Based on the Archimedes Model, IndiGO provides suggested interventions to reduce a patient’s risk of heart attacks, strokes, and onset of diabetes.

CTH Blog:

How does it work?  Does it use data from the electronic health record?


IndiGO incorporates 27 data elements from a patient’s EHR that are critical to computing the risk and suggested benefit of a particular intervention. The physician’s office or health care organization sends us de-identified patient data on a nightly basis, so we’re always looking at the latest, most current information. The data is then analyzed by the IndiGO engine, and results are returned to the submitting office. The risk assessment is very real-time, providing up-to-date information that the physicians have available to them.

CTH Blog:

And you use that data in the EHR to make these predictions?


Yes. Exactly. The IndiGO risk assessment shows how a patient’s decisions could reduce their health risk. It also illustrates how the risk could be magnified by their choice to ignore an intervention. For example, it might show that if they cease taking a medication, their risk could increase to, say, roughly seven times the risk of a healthy patient who is the same gender and age.

CTH Blog:

What is the response you are seeing from patients?


What we found is that this tool really serves as a trigger.  Anecdotally, we know that physicians print out this screen and give it to their patients as a visual reinforcement of their conversation. The patients use the information in their risk assessment to activate them to adhere to the physician recommended intervention. We’ve heard of patients putting it up on their refrigerator as a reminder.

We’re doing a pilot with the Colorado Beacon Consortium, and we had patients come in and give testimonials.  These were unscripted patients coming in to talk about how IndiGO has benefited the management of their personal health.

One patient – a retired engineer, 71 years old — said he never cared to go see his doctor.  But once he saw IndiGO in action, he was hooked.  He loved how it visually quantified his health.  For him, this tool served as a differentiating factor, motivating him to see his doctor and stick with his plan.  We find that IndiGO is not only helping physicians manage the health of their patients, it’s also serving as a distinguishing factor for patients to choose physicians using the tool, because they are provided with a more quantitative and more visual way of looking at their health. You can see how patients react to IndiGO in a video we have on YouTube.

CTH Blog:

A picture must really be worth a thousand words.  What they see illustrated on the screen must resonate differently, because patients are told risk percentages all the time, but it doesn’t seem to have the same effect.


Right, because most risk percentages are an arbitrary number, and patients don’t know what it’s relative to.  Whereas, with IndiGO, you might say, “Look, this is your current risk, and this is where a patient at the optimal level of health is.”  And then you can show, visually, the effect their own actions can have on their health risks.   That really motivates them.  It’s powerful.

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Fight Seasonal Bugs with Good Hand Hygiene

By | Healthy Communities, Healthy Living, Infographics | No Comments

It’s that time of year – cold and flu season is upon us.  We all know the best way to keep sickness at bay is to wash our hands often.  What most people don’t know is that there really is a right way to wash hands, and it takes about the same amount of time as singing “Happy Birthday.”  It looks like this (courtesy of the World Health Organization):

The WHO has a global campaign around clean hands.  Its website has resources for health facilities – like a Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework, as well as tools for system change, training and education, reminders in the workplace, and evaluation and feedback.