Change Healthcare has recently announced that it will be offering data science as a service (DSaaS), with a focus on social determinants of health (SDOH). The company is partnering up with Amazon Web Services and has long term plans to boost the organization levels and information databases of health services nationally, with a particular emphasis on underprivileged and vulnerable communities, through its efforts.
This DSaaS offering, integrated with SDOH statistics, will provide anonymized data to health systems about factors such as prescription and diagnosis rates, and the impact that social constructs and environmental factors have on health trends and people of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Traditionally the process of acquiring this data can be tedious and time-consuming and can leave room for error. This partnership will work to eliminate these hurdles by combining the security and agility of Amazon Web Service’s software, with the DSaaS resources that Change Healthcare brings to the table. This new software will adhere to the ethics of patient privacy and provide only de-identified data to companies, while examining the outside social factors that can influence both behavioral and physical health on a large scale.
Including SDOH as a primary focus will revolutionize the way health data is interpreted. Current statistics primarily serve to only display the effects of health trends in patients. Factoring social determinants into patient data will help analysts dive further into the causes of said trends. "As much as 80% of our health and well-being is affected by social determinants, such as whether someone can access or afford medical care, their level of healthcare literacy, their access to transportation, and their food and housing vulnerabilities," said Tim Suther, Change Healthcare’s Senior Vice President of Data Solutions, in a statement regarding the new project.
This DSaaS cloud service already has its fair share of clients. The Duke University School of Medicine has been using its data to analyze pre-existing health conditions and compare the effects of COVID-19 progression on different ethnic and socio-economic groups. Carnegie Mellon University has also been using the database to create an interactive COVD-19 map to track behaviors, treatments, and diagnoses.
With time and active utilization, this software will create a gateway for creating a precise and personalized healthcare experience for future generations. The in-depth analysis potential of socially focused health data will allow life sciences specialists to better understand the breadth and depth of patient experiences and offer resources to address challenges in healthcare accessibility.