Open Data Powers NM Prescription Trails App

Steps from busy roadways and populated communities are miles of New Mexico trails. An open data-powered website and trails app gets patients moving.

Prescription Trails is managed by New Mexico Health Care Takes On Diabetes, an initiative of health plans, government, direct care providers and other organizations focused on improving diabetes care in New Mexico. Prescription Trails is a network of parks and trails that are rated for walking or wheelchair rolling, and its powered by a website and soon, a trails app.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Prescription Trails encourages people with sedentary lifestyles in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, Rio Rancho and Corrales, New Mexico, to engage in physical activity.

The program encourages doctors to actually prescribe walking. The program has a brochure doctors can hand to patients along with their "scripts" for walking or wheelchair rolling. But thanks to open data, a website helps people across the state to "get up and get moving."

The program rates each trail for difficulty and the number of steps it takes to complete it. The website maps the locations of trails, provides photos and detailed information about park locations, amenities--and the Prescription Trails ratings.

The Sandoval Health Collaborative is spearheading the new app's creation with students from the University of New Mexico in Rio Rancho. The students are part of the New Mexico Innovation Laboratory.

The app, which should be completed in June, adds social media to Prescription Trails program. Members can access the information from the website, plan meet-ups, see pictures of trails and comment on their experiences.

Read the original story on the Albuquerque Journal website.

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