By CATALYST @ HEALTH 2.0
Health disparities domestically and globally can often be attributed to social determinants of health (SDoH). According to Healthy People 2020, SDoH are conditions and resources in the environments in which “people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” Examples of these include: resources to meet daily needs (e.g. access to and quality of housing and food markets), educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and transportation. Despite well-established literature on the importance of SDoH, these factors are often overlooked and excluded in health care frameworks.
Concurrently, health services provided in
traditional settings such as hospitals and clinics can be expensive and
inaccessible. There are a large number of communities, from rural areas to
major cities, that are in need of high-quality care. Innovative technologies
can mitigate these challenges. Home and community-based care models coupled
with digital tools provide the opportunity to serve patients where they feel
most comfortable in a cost-effective manner.
In an effort to spur creativity in the SDoH tech environment and improve the landscape of home based care, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Catalyst partnered to launch two Innovation Challenges on Social Determinants of Health and Home and Community Based Care.
For the SDoH Challenge, innovators were asked to
develop novel digital solutions that can help providers and/or patients connect
to health services related to SDoH. Over 110 applications were submitted to the
SDoH Challenge. For the Home and Community Based Care Challenge, applicants
were asked to create technologies that support the advancement of at-home or
community-based health care. Nearly 100 applications for Home and Community
Based Care Challenge were received.
After the submission period ended, an expert
panel comprised of subject matter experts, venture capitalists, as well as
designers evaluated the entries. Five semi-finalists from each challenge have
been selected to advance to the next round: