April 22nd is Earth Day

Every year on April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day, a global call to action to honor our planet and advocate for its sustainability. 

The health of our planet and the health of its inhabitants are inextricably linked. Here at JMIR Publications, we're committed to publishing impactful research that advances the understanding of this crucial intersection. To mark Earth Day 2024, we'd like to highlight several thought-provoking papers from our diverse portfolio of journals that explore the connection between environmental health and human well-being.

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1. Chohan S, Rahim A, Usman R, et al. Wearables for measuring health effects of climate change–induced weather extremes: Scoping review. JMIR mHealth uHealth 2022;10(9):e39532. doi: 10.2196/39532

Although climate change is one of the biggest global health threats, individual-level and short-term data on direct exposure and health impacts are still scarce. Wearable electronic devices (wearables) present a potential solution to this research gap. Wearables have become widely accepted in various areas of health research for ecological momentary assessment, and some studies have used wearables in the field of climate change and health. However, these studies vary in study design, demographics, and outcome variables, and existing research has not been mapped.


2. Diallo T, Bérubé A, Roberge M, et al. Nurses’ Perceptions of Climate Change: Protocol for a Scoping Review JMIR Res Protoc 2023;12:e42516 doi: 10.2196/42516

Climate change is a major threat to human health. Nurses are in contact with patients suffering from the effects of climate change in their daily work. Therefore, they need to be involved in combating it at both the individual and collective levels. However, there is still very little known about nurses' perception of climate change and their role toward it. A few recent studies have embarked on the process of examining the perceptions of these health professionals relative to climate change, but no exploratory review of the literature has been conducted on nurses' perception of this phenomenon.

3. Jayawardena C, Liyanage L, Skandarajah J, et al. The role of virtual consulting in developing environmentally sustainable health care: A systematic literature review. J Med Internet Res 2023;25(1):e44823. doi: 10.2196/44823

Health systems globally need to rapidly set and achieve targets for reaching net zero carbon emissions. Virtual consulting (including video- and telephone-based consulting) is regarded as one means by which this might be achieved, largely through reduced patient travel. Little is currently known about the ways in which forms of virtual consulting might contribute to the net zero agenda or how countries may develop and implement programs at scale that can support increased environmental sustainability.



4. Amin ZM, Tremper JK, Arain SR, et al. An accessible clinical decision support system to curtail anesthetic greenhouse gases in a large health network: Implementation study. J Clin Anesth 2022;34(1):e40831. doi: 10.1097/JCA.0000000000001039

Inhaled anesthetics in the operating room are potent greenhouse gases and are a key contributor to carbon emissions from health care facilities. Real-time clinical decision support (CDS) systems lower anesthetic gas waste by prompting anesthesia professionals to reduce fresh gas flow (FGF) when a set threshold is exceeded. However, previous CDS systems have relied on proprietary or highly customized anesthesia information management systems, significantly reducing other institutions’ accessibility to the technology and thus limiting overall environmental benefit.




5. Atwoli, L, Baqui AH, Benfield T, et al. #HealthyClimate: Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health. JMIR Public Health Surveill 2021;7(9):e32958. doi: 10.2196/32958

The UN General Assembly in September 2021 will bring countries together at a critical time for marshalling collective action to tackle the global environmental crisis. They will meet again at the biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, and the climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK. Ahead of these pivotal meetings, we—the editors of health journals worldwide—call for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5°C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health.

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