Environmental Factors – A Determinant of Health Long Neglected and Requiring Adaptation

May 9, 2017 – BLOG – Today, I am speaking on a panel at the National Adaptation Forum, here in St. Paul, Minnesota, entitled, Heat, Floods, and Diseases – Integrating climate change with human health.  When I started having conversations with the climate science community, I’m not sure I envisioned I’d be speaking to this community about my vision for HEALTHeWeather in the context of adaptation.  But, our health care system hasn’t done a really good job of accommodating environmental factors as a determinant of health and emerging technologies permit us a unique opportunity to do so to the benefit of millions of patients with specific health conditions.

One of the topics I’ll discuss is weather variability in the context of the changing climate.  If people understand weather variability and its impact on our daily health and wellness, then we begin to understand climate variability; the impact this year versus last year, and ultimately, climate change variability.  Take the condition of allergies and asthma, statistics show that more people are becoming allergic to pollen, the pollen seasons are becoming longer, and pollen intensity is often significantly higher than in previous years.  But at the end of the day, an allergy or asthma patient just wants to know how the weather and their environment are going to impact them today.

Because most of us operate as if we are at the mercy of the weather and the environment, we don’t really understand or are not aware of the impacts of daily weather and environmental exposure on specific health condition, from respiratory conditions to migraines/headaches to cardiovascular health.  So, should adaptation be a fabric of how we treat environmental factors as a component of our overall health and wellness.  Absolutely.  If we want to prevent negative health outcomes that may be triggered by weather and environmental exposures, we need to make people weather aware and health prepared.

Next Blog – The Government’s Role in Environmental Factors as a Determinant of Health

Authored by Eric Klos, CEO, HEALTHeWeather, this bi-weekly blog is related to weather and environmental factors impacting patient health. Sign up for the DailyBreath, the 1st HEALTHeWeather solution coming to market in the spring.