Leveraging technology to find solutions to patients’ unmet social needs

The Commonwealth Fund

Just as Yelp enables people to find and rate restaurants willing to deliver Chinese food at 2 a.m., several technology vendors are helping health care providers and their patients find local resources such as food banks and housing agencies and evaluate their effectiveness. The platforms developed by companies like One Degree and NowPow also serve as electronic bridges between health care and social service providers—enabling them to share information with one another. The data these companies and others have collected are helping to identify neighborhoods where demand for social supports outstrips supply. These tools may also help researchers evaluate the impact of social service interventions on health outcomes and health care spending.

Klein S., Hostetter M. Leveraging technology to find solutions to patients’ unmet social needs. Transforming Care: Reporting on Health System Improvement. New York City, NY: The Commonwealth Fund; 2017. Available online.

Publication Year: 
Resource Type: 
Social Determinant of Health: 
Housing Stability
Not Specified
Screening Research: