Social Determinants of Health: Technology, examples and healthcare trends in 2021

Healthcare payers and providers are broadening the scope of health-influencing factors they address to include social determinants of health (SDOH).
Below, we outline how digital technology in healthcare is working to address SDOH.
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The following is a preview of one Digital Health report, the Social Determinants of Health Report. You can purchase this report here.

The coronavirus pandemic afflicted the US healthcare industry at a time when it was already experiencing rising rates of chronic disease, doctor burnout, and staff shortages-but it especially took a toll on some of the most vulnerable, at- risk communities across the country.

Hospitals and insurers use digital health to tackle nonclinical health factors.

Widening health disparities are leading healthcare payers and providers to broaden the scope of health-influencing factors they address to include social determinants of health (SDOH), like income and access healthy food. But how do tech and digital transformation play into this?

Learn how emerging tech companies have assisted SDOH healthcare players, and how the pandemic has affected these initiatives.

What are social determinants of health (SDOH)?

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical, economic and environmental conditions that both directly and indirectly impact one’s health, like access to transportation and nutritious food. SDOH analytics show that these conditions influence health inequities and have a massive effect on population health outcomes.

While care received in medical facilities can account for approximately 10% to 20% of health outcomes, the remaining 80% to 90% can be attributed to SDOH.

Examples of social determinants of health according to the CDC include: Financial instability is the biggest health concern for low-income households.

Affordable housing
Education, both early childhood and higher ed
Healthy food
Local emergency health services and clinics
Health coverage
Local parks and playgrounds
Social integration

SDOH Industry Trends & COVID’s Impact

The pandemic has exacerbated nonclinical health disparities, like the examples listed above, that are negatively affecting health outcomes-forcing healthcare companies to recognize and learn from the latest SDOH statistics.

The number of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants increased in nearly all US states across the pandemic’s duration. And the pandemic affected certain cohorts-seniors, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Black Americans-more severely.

In response to various SDOH trends and imbalances, digital health vendors have jumped at the opportunity to unite healthcare stakeholders with the tools needed to tackle SDOH. Healthcare organizations are providing support services, coordinating with community organizations, and offering health risk assessments.

Additionally, the rise in preventable chronic conditions, shift to value-based care, and consumer interest in digital health tech, are encouraging payers and hospitals to team up with SDOH-focused software developers.

Examples of SDOH Technology

Tech and digital health companies are leveraging their computing power to help healthcare incumbents comprehend and address SDOH data. Digital platforms and SDOH screening tools can help healthcare players engage with patients, aggregate data in a central spot, and leverage algorithms to craft …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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