Socially Determined Launches Digital Landscape Risk Metric, Providing New Insights into an Increasingly Influential Social Determinant of Health
New Metric Empowers Healthcare Payers, Providers, Life Science Companies and Others to Understand How Digital Equity Impacts Health Outcomes and Business Performance
Washington, DC (November 2, 2021) — Socially Determined, the Social Risk Intelligence™ company for organizations committed to addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), today announced a new metric that enables organizations to assess digital equity within a population or community and the impact it has on health outcomes and business performance. The Digital Landscape metric joins a portfolio of existing SDOH community risk scores in Socially Determined’s SocialScape® analytics platform including Economic Climate, Food Landscape, Housing Environment, Transportation Network, and Health Literacy that assess these domains across the entire United States at a hyper-local level.
Socially Determined developed the Digital Landscape metric to address the underlying need for technology in today’s society and the role it plays in healthcare delivery outcomes and equity that the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated and accelerated. For example, telehealth utilization levels have stabilized nationwide at a rate that is 38 times higher than before the pandemic, elevating digital equity as a major influencer of business performance for payers and providers, and the overall wellbeing of communities and populations.
The Digital Landscape metric is unique in its ability to offer an advanced and comprehensive analysis of factors related to digital access, affordability, digital literacy, and how they all intersect. To provide insights into digital access, SocialScape’s analytics go beyond acknowledging the availability of broadband internet in a certain area to consider additional relevant factors, such as computer or smartphone ownership and proximity to public spaces with internet access. To assess affordability, the score considers elements such as income, the cost of internet access and other household essentials, and the feasibility of internet access fitting into a household budget. To take the metric a step further, it also analyzes digital literacy, or a community members’ ability to understand and utilize technology.
“Digital equity is increasingly emerging as a key factor influencing access and outcomes in the post-COVID world, and it’s critical for organizations to understand how it impacts their performance,” said Alan Lattimer, PhD, vice president of data science at Socially Determined. “It is a risk factor that is now on par with food, housing, and other Social Determinants of Health because it’s so foundational to life in America in the twenty-first century, affecting not just healthcare, but also education, employment, social connection, and other areas of life. These factors are all interconnected, and SocialScape gives organizations a way to understand and act on this effectively.”
Organizations can leverage the Digital Landscape metric to better understand where digital inequities exist in the communities they serve. A full picture of the digital landscape enables them to provide more effective support to those who need it most while ensuring that digital barriers do not exacerbate existing inequities.
“Our Community Health Worker program brings non-clinical individuals into the community to reach people who are vulnerable and who might not be comfortable with the health care system. And in response to the pandemic, we completely shifted this program to a digital model,” said Michelle Conger, chief strategy officer of OSF HealthCare and CEO of OSF OnCall Digital Health. “SocialScape’s new Digital Landscape risk model will be valuable in helping us understand and address the effect on individuals across all the communities we serve, particularly those living in rural areas.”
As health care and social interventions continue to shift towards digital solutions, understanding the digital landscape will be critical. In the same way SocialScape’s existing Transportation Network risk model helps payers and providers proactively identify communities where physical access to care may be impacted by transportation barriers, the Digital Landscape risk metric will help organizations identify and provide additional support to communities in which digital barriers may hinder utilization of virtual services. Adding Digital Landscape into SocialScape’s suite of community risk metrics builds on Socially Determined’s comprehensive portfolio of Social Risk Intelligence and is pivotal in creating a more holistic view of the impact that social risk has on business performance and community wellbeing.
For more information on Socially Determined’s new Digital Landscape metric, please contact us at https://www.sociallydetermined.com/contact.
About Socially Determined
Socially Determined provides Social Risk Intelligence™ solutions to organizations committed to addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) impacting their communities and populations. The company’s platform, SocialScape®, delivers unmatched insights into social risk dynamics and their effect on health outcomes and business performance through secure, scalable data processing and proprietary analytics. With SocialScape’s unparalleled view of social risk and Socially Determined’s advisory services expertise, customers can deploy interventions and investments that translate to quantifiable impact. Socially Determined is headquartered in Washington, DC and operates a second office in Blacksburg, VA. For more information, follow Socially Determined on Twitter (@SocDetermined) or LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/socially-determined), or visit www.SociallyDetermined.com.