During the pandemic, health care providers and institutions ramped up innovative, sustainable and increasingly digital ways to improve population health outcomes, and I expect this trend to continue. For over 20 years, I’ve advised health care provider teams across the U.S. on leveraging and incorporating digital technology and tools like patient portals, health trackers and remote monitoring in order to help transition the industry from reactive care to preventative care. However, with the deployment of technology comes the potential for health inequities.
We are at a tipping point for bringing a population health perspective in health improvement journeys, and I believe that continuing a focus on social determinants of health (SDOH) is imperative to long-term success. SDOH are non-medical factors that influence health outcomes and health inequities and include the conditions in which people live, learn, work and play; studies suggest that SDOH account for between 30%-55% of health outcomes, meaning the lower the socioeconomic position, the higher likelihood of worse health.