Building healthy communities: Establishing health and wellness metrics for use within the real estate industry

November 2014, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

It is increasingly well recognized that the design and operation of the communities in which people live, work, learn, and play significantly influence their health.

However, within the real estate industry, the health impacts of transportation, community development, and other construction projects, both positive and negative, continue to operate largely as economic externalities: unmeasured, unregulated, and for the most part unconsidered. This lack of transparency limits communities’ ability to efficiently advocate for real estate investment that best promotes their health and well-being. It also limits market incentives for innovation within the real estate industry by making it more difficult for developers that successfully target health behaviors and outcomes in their projects to differentiate themselves competitively. Continue reading

New funding opportunity from NIH/CDC for small business to create tools to collect health metrics

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a funding opportunity for small businesses to develop user-friendly tools facilitating the construction of environmental metrics related to the determinants: health behaviors and health care. Such metrics are gaining wider use in the research literature, notably in the development of indices of the food and physical activity environments and in quantifying access to cancer-related health resources.

The grant is funded through the NIH/CDC Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) mechanism. The SBIR program provides support for research and development (R&D) of new or improved technologies and methodologies that have the potential to succeed as commercial products. The program consists of the following three phases: Continue reading