Document Type : Short Communication
School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Department of Epidemiology, Beijing An Zhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, The Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, Beijing, China
School of Architecture and Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Key Laboratory of Eco Planning & Green Building, Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Several methods have been applied to measure healthcare accessibility, ie, the Euclidean distance, the network distance, and the transport time based on speed limits. However, these methods generally produce less accurate estimates than actual measurements. This research proposed a method to estimate historical healthcare accessibility more accurately by using taxi Global Positioning System (GPS) traces. The proposed method’s advantages were evaluated vis a case study using acute myocardial infarction (AMI) cases in Beijing in 2008. Comparative analyses of the new measure and three conventionally used measures suggested that the median estimated transport time to the closest hospital with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) capability for AMI patients was 5.72 minutes by the taxi GPS trace-based measure, 2.42 minutes by the network distance-based measure, 2.28 minutes by the speed limit-based measure, 1.73 minutes by the Euclidean distance-based measure; and the estimated proportion of patients who lived within 5 minutes of a PCI-capable hospital was 38.17%, 89.20%, 92.52%, 95.05%, respectively. The three conventionally used measures underestimated the travel time cost and overestimated the percentage of patients with timely access to healthcare facilities. In addition, the new measure more accurately identifies the areas with low or high access to healthcare facilities. The taxi GPS trace-based accessibility measure provides a promising start for more accurately estimating accessibility to healthcare facilities, increasing the use of medical records in studying the effects of historical healthcare accessibility on health outcomes, and evaluating how accessibility to healthcare changes over time.