The Role of Societal and Economic Norms in Predicting Health Outcomes

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2018 has been an exciting year for Trayt. We launched our enterprise platform and deployed at the largest children’s hospital in the world. Our most important learning from this process was that our patient population is diverse and they have complex conditions that require multiple caregivers and clinicians. Families have an average commute of 90-minutes to get to providers and they have the burden of documenting and sharing information across the system of care. They have cultural and language barriers and they could not afford the cost of care since insurance doesn’t cover much of the services.

It is known today that social determinants of health are more predictive of health outcomes than treatments. A person’s zip code, home stressors, family history, and socioeconomic profile don’t necessarily result in different health conditions, but they are more likely to impact conditions stemming from their adverse childhood experiences and by their inability to receive care or get reimbursed for services they need. Telemedicine, digital health platforms, and remote patient monitoring is meant to create access to care, but they cannot solve the key challenges facing this population. They lack access to data plans and wifi to take advantage of the digital access. They also lack digital and medical literacy necessary to interact with many of the technological tools available to them. This is a societal and economical issue and one that could only be solved with collaboration and partnership between the public and private sector. 

The Trayt platform is a clinical one. It enables tracking and sharing outcomes regularly and identifying comorbidity patterns for patients with brain disorders and targeting treatments more effectively. It could potentially address part of the problem that families have in providing necessary care. It provides digital access and removes the burden of sharing and documenting health and outcomes information. But we must still overcome the many barriers that face a large part of our patient population in order to improve their health outcomes, which remains in the societal realm.  

It is especially exciting for us to see the healthcare industry trend toward recognizing and creating awareness in a patient-centered view and considering key factors such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Social Determinants of Health. Organizations like Partner’s Health Alliance dedicated a whole conference to “Balancing Technology and the Human Element.” It was an honor for us to participate in the panel titled “Designing for Equity” alongside key thought leaders at the Conference and to join Dr. Ali Loveys in co-moderating a round-table on “Vulnerable Populations and Pediatrics” at Node.Health’s Digital Medicine Conference in New York.

In this time of celebration, love, and giving, let us remember those less privileged. Let us remember to not take our health for granted. Let us remember our responsibility towards creating a better, healthier, and more prosperous society for all and not forget the importance of societal and economic norms in improving health outcomes.

From our family at Trayt, we wish you all a happy and healthy new year.

-Malekeh Amini