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The National Health IT Could Shed Light on Telehealth

The National Health IT (NHIT) Collaborative for the Underserved has recently launched a new platform. The platform aims to build actionable insights from social determinants of health data. The Data Fusion Center uses the de-identified data along with the publicly available information. It facilitates a greater understanding of the ways that different SDOH intersect.

The NHIT leaders said that this could be particularly useful if it comes to the investigation of disparities in access to virtual care. Luis Belen, the National Health IT CEO, said, “When utilization metrics are combined with other nontraditional clinical data points, such as broadband access and speed, access to public transportation, the location of physical points of care such as hospitals and pharmacies.”

He said that they believe to help identify and highlight gaps that lead to actionable recommendations for policymakers, healthcare organizations, and the communities as well. It helps educate people on how telehealth can enhance underserved communities. The inequities and overlapping injustices will all play a role in the health of the community and individual. Many are denied access to safe housing, transportation, grocery stores, and clean water.

The main purpose of the Center is to shed light on the ways these factors are affecting wellness by using the de-identified data from the state and federal agencies. They wish to open the data repositories from private companies like Change Healthcare. Belen says that the Center is not managing individual data or HIPAA. He explained, “Our long-term goal is that the Fusion Center will become the central repository for all SDoH data.”

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