For years, researchers have found that Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) have a profound impact on the health of individuals and communities. The U.S. government defines SDOH as “the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” According to the World Health Organization, SDOH account for between 30-55% of health outcomes.
But it has been nearly impossible for health providers, government officials and others to know just where all these determinants stand in any given community in the country. This problem has only gotten worse during the Covid-19 pandemic, in which SDOH have exacerbated health outcomes and created disparate impacts for minority groups.
Now, CloudMedx — the platform delivering Aligned Intelligence to the healthcare industry — has teamed up with Anthem to solve this problem. With the new interactive data analytics dashboard Close to Home, anyone can get an up close look at the SDOH in every community in America. Available at https://sdohexplorer.cmxcloud.com, Close to Home offers data on food insecurity and food deserts, pharmacy and transportation access, housing, internet access, and levels of various health conditions such as obesity and hypertension. It also includes information on household sizes, incomes and education levels.
“By pulling together this information and making it easily accessible, actionable, and understandable, CloudMedx is taking another step forward in our mission to transform healthcare through the power of information,” said Tashfeen Suleman, CEO and cofounder of CloudMedx. “Our unified data platform offers data aggregation, governance, API access, and care insights for timely decision making. The dashboard is a culmination of that strategy and technical capabilities we bring to market.”
All of this data is available to providers, payers and the public at the state, county and even zip code level. Health officials have already been using the CloudMedx platform to identify regions worst hit by Covid and other health problems in order to plan outreach to members and ease their burden during these trying times. These initiatives include offering free rides to clinics, delivering medications to homes, and offering telemedicine services to affected populations.
The dashboard is initially being presented with a focus on food, the most frequently unmet Social Determinant of Health in the United States. “Social drivers of health are an important predictor of outcomes outside the four walls of healthcare,” says Shantanu Agrawal, MD, Chief Health Officer at Anthem. “In order to drive meaningful change, everyone working on this issue needs data at the local level. That’s why Anthem is working with a variety of partners including CloudMedx to develop tools like Close to Home. The information is now at their fingertips and we are bringing this data onto a single unifying platform for all stakeholders across the industry, providing a window into whole person health.” (The tool is also available at Anthem’s website.)
Hunger in America increased vastly in 2020, doubling among children, researchers have found. While there has been improvement this year, Feeding America says, more than 40 million Americans may experience food insecurity in 2021.