In an interview with HIT Marketing consultant, Dr. Gary Rothenberg, Slot Chief Medical Officer of Podimetrics talks about how healthcare expertise will help assist a deal with social determinants of well being (SDoH) to boost the connection between the affected person and doctor/care group.
How can well being expertise play a job in serving to to handle social determinants of well being (SDOH) with regards to diabetes care?
Dr. Gary Rothenberg, Chief Medical Officer at Podimetrics: Whereas I’m an enormous believer within the worth of expertise in constructing a brand new healthcare ecosystem that’s targeted on worth versus filling hospital beds, I believe this can be a lengthy play.
In the present day, sufferers — together with these dwelling with diabetes who I assist in my function as a clinician, in academia, and as a director of medical affairs — are dealing with debilitating points particular to SDOH. These SDOH challenges range significantly — from not having sufficient cash to purchase their much-needed insulin to not having a automotive to get to a health care provider’s appointment.
Whereas tech can and will need to have a job to play — together with serving to to establish probably the most at-risk sufferers we will goal for assist — we, as clinicians, have an enormous function to play ourselves as leaders of the affected person care group. Being an efficient healthcare supplier continues to be a human talent to follow and excellent. It requires that we speak to individuals, contact them with our palms for examinations, and troubleshoot their fears and considerations.
The vital function of group well being has been round for just a few many years inside U.S. well being methods. If group well being work was the reply to addressing SDOH, wouldn’t we be additional alongside in fixing these issues by now?
Dr. Rothenberg: Quick reply, no. The inhabitants of individuals dealing with SDOH challenges has continued to develop yr over yr, and the pandemic solely additional exacerbated these points — particularly for many who have been already susceptible earlier than COVID got here our method. In tandem, we haven’t had the will increase in investments particular to group well being work to maintain up with this rising demand.
Basically, now we have a fairly important provide and demand concern at hand — that means extra individuals needing assist and fewer group well being staff and associated assets to assist them.
We want extra authorities funding in group well being — significantly in relation to workforce investments — as a way to considerably rework group care. Additionally, the main focus have to be on worth, not fee-for-service, as a way to drive towards measurable, long-lasting change for sufferers dwelling with SDOH challenges.
How is well being expertise, and particularly well being tech utilizing AI, uniquely capable of handle points pertaining to SDOH?
Dr. Rothenberg: I discussed threat stratification earlier than. AI has a particular function to play right here. The truth is that the healthcare business — and clinicians particularly — are wealthy in knowledge however poor in insights — that means that whereas now we have entry to lots of knowledge, there’s not a lot information we will derive from that knowledge as we speak when and the place we’d like it most.
That is the place I see an enormous alternative for AI — in with the ability to cull by means of huge quantities of information, derive actionable insights, and supply these insights to the care group on the level of care and/or earlier than an in-person or digital seek the advice of.
With the suitable coaching and scientific steering, AI can and will play an enormous function with regards to large knowledge and layering on analytics with the top aim being to assist the healthcare system’s transition to preventive, proactive care.
Curiosity within the potential of well being tech, and particularly using AI, and its capability to handle long-standing challenges similar to SDOH stays excessive. Is AI a powerful reply to the issues related to SDOH identification and assist?
Dr. Rothenberg: AI isn’t the end-all, be-all reply to addressing SDOH. It’s, nonetheless, an enabler of innovation that may assist drive a much-needed change in figuring out our most susceptible sufferers and getting them entry to the kind of care that matches their wants and focuses on worth. Nonetheless, that’s going to take extra time. And whereas I’m simply as excited as others about ChatGPT, I nonetheless don’t assume it’s prepared for healthcare prime time.
There are different non-AI varieties of innovation particular to SDOH that excite me personally and have nearer-term potential — for instance, the “meals is medication” motion and the associated latest announcement from Instacart Well being.
Constructing on this announcement, Boston Kids’s Hospital is now among the many first well being methods to leverage Instacart Well being supplier merchandise for its sufferers, establishing new meals as medication applications to assist them get the nourishment they should handle and keep their well being. Meals performs such a vital function in our well being and well-being, and the concept that expertise can break down entry obstacles to nutritious meals actually holds the potential to stop critical and expensive power illnesses like diabetes — a illness that adversely impacts individuals of colour as we speak in a really important method.
What’s the way forward for well being tech in relation to addressing SDOH?
Dr. Rothenberg: The way forward for well being tech with regards to addressing SDOH ought to seem like this in healthcare:
- Preventive — Tech identifies the sufferers most susceptible to well being points;
- Proactive — Tech helps clinicians and care groups simplify engagement with these sufferers early and infrequently;
- Personalised — Tech helps enhance affected person expertise and supply insights/assist in a personalised, patient-centric method from the consolation of their residence when attainable; and
- Passionate — Tech ought to assist make individuals and excited to interact and take part in their very own care and well-being, and it ought to, in flip, reignite ardour for affected person care with physicians as effectively.
About Dr. Gary Rothenberg
Dr. Gary Rothenberg is a board-certified podiatrist with greater than 20 years of expertise that features academia, scientific follow, and analysis. His analysis focuses on stopping decrease extremity problems related to diabetes. As Podimetrics’ Director of Medical Affairs, he additionally serves as an Affiliate Professor of Inside Medication within the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes on the College of Michigan. He graduated from the Ohio School of Podiatric Medication and accomplished his main podiatry medical residency coaching and podiatric surgical residency on the College of Texas Well being Science Heart.