Videos and web resources for Section 3, Metrics and the Burden of Disease.


This site is home to a wealth of resources about historical and current disease distribution and health inequalities. The interactive data in the “Gapminder Tools” feature are great to explore; the “Dollar Street” feature is a compelling way to investigate global inequality; and a variety of videos make demographics accessible and fascinating.


The Life Equation

This feature-length film follows a woman with cervical cancer in Guatemala and a physician in Nepal to explore the logic and the moral dilemmas of cost-effectiveness reasoning. The film’s website also has a wealth of video and material that walks students through the main ideas of the film, from information on how DALYs are calculated to poignant vignettes that illustrate key dilemmas in cost-effectiveness reasoning.


Data Visualizations – Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has a number of fascinating data visualizations: for example, exploring health in the United States at the county level and looking at global trends in tobacco use.


Our World in Data – Max Roser

A source for interactive maps based on IHME’s burden of disease estimates.


If It Were My Home

This website allows students to calculate demographic and other characteristics of one country in comparison to another. For example, “if Italy were your home instead of the United States you would be 69.86% more likely to be unemployed; make 43.94% less money; be 87.54% less likely to be in prison; spend 65.91% less money on health care; be 78.95% less likely to be murdered; be 46.35% less likely to die in infancy; live 2.47 years longer.”



This website tracks estimated deaths by many major causes in real time. It can be used to quickly illustrate the scale of major issues like HIV and smoking.


Health Map – Boston Children’s Hospital

An interactive website that visualizes locations of outbreaks of disease around the world. Since this site mostly pulls information from Internet sources, it is not comprehensive but it is an interesting tool for students to discuss as part of a larger conversation about surveillance methods.


Global Health Estimates – PLOS Collections

The PLOS Medicine Collection of papers debating the uses of global health estimates is an excellent academic resource for more advanced students interested in the debate around the uses of data in Global Health. For a more broadly accessible introduction to these issues, see The Life Equation.

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