Digital tools can help tackle social determinants of health: 4 possibilities

The pandemic highlighted the importance of prioritizing population health and social determinants of health to create the best health outcomes for patients. Twined with the surge in innovative digital technology, there are ways to use new tools to remedy and track inequities, Forbes reported Feb. 8. 

Four ways to use digital health tools to consider social determinants of health: 

  1. Deliberately align technology with the strategic goal of improving health equity. Leading with a holistic view of health will ensure that any technological improvements made to systems will also address health equity.

  2. Integrate both social care and healthcare by partnering with community groups to address social determinants of health. Monitor progress and outcomes digitally to produce clear results and metrics of the effects of such partnerships.

  3. Use digital health services to connect data on patients' social determinants of health. For example, physicians may use EHRs to flag concerns and then pass any necessary information to social workers. 

  4. Leverage artificial intelligence to help track and analyze patient social data to flag points for intervention to reduce the number of avoidable hospitalizations. 

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