Over the past decade, patients have taken a more active role in educating themselves and directly managing their own health. And with more than 80 percent of consumers now researching their healthcare options, new technologies provide consumers new ways to engage in their own healthy living and in managing certain conditions. In other words, technology is empowering consumers to take control of their health. Uber Health, Lyft, Walmart Health, Amazon Care are just a few organizations entering the healthcare space.
Confidence in patient engagement technology's (PETs) potential remains high as health systems continue to invest in a more digital health care experience - focusing on connecting with, communicating with, and monitoring patients outside the walls of the health system. While it's encouraging to see health systems being proactive by embracing the growing demand by consumers for a more digital health care experience, successful patient/health system adoption is much more than investing in and implementing new technology. Successful adopters of PET have started with buy-in at the senior leadership level, redesigning the organizational strategy to become more consumer/patient-obsessed.
Social determinants of health—the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age that affects health and quality of life—are strongly connected with disparities in health status and life expectancy. Research has found that individual behavior, often driven by social determinants, accounts for up to 40 percent of the risk of premature death. These findings helped establish the Commission on Social Determinants of Health by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2005. The Commission's responsibilities require that they assemble, collate, and synthesize global data on SDOH and its impact on health inequity, and to make recommendations for action to address that inequity. The goal of the Commission is simple: to foster a global movement on SDOH and health equity.