Technology company Jvion is using AI, analytics to tackle social determinants of health

Male patient sitting in chair having consultation with doctor or psychiatrist
Jvion joins a growing list of companies attempting to use technology like artificial intelligence and analytics to identify and address the socioeconomic barriers to health. (noipornpan/GettyImages)

Healthcare company Jvion wants to use artificial intelligence and analytics to tackle social determinants of health (SDOH).

The company is known in the market for its clinical AI solution and is leveraging its analytics capabilities to identify the socioeconomic barriers driving an individual’s health risk.

The SDOH solution also features an interactive map interface built using Microsoft Azure maps and, combined with analytics, offers providers individualized interventions that aid in aligning community benefits more effectively, the company said.

"We are an AI company whose purpose and mission is to eliminate avoidable patient harm and this fits with that mission. We are broadening our AI competency and expertise to try to solve this in a slightly different way than other people in the industry," Shantanu Nigam, CEO of Jvion, told FierceHealthcare.

A common approach to address patients' SDOH is to apply a population-based intervention that uses data in a limited way, he said.

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For example, if providers identify patients living in food deserts, they might recommend ways to improve access to healthy food. But all people living in a food desert don't have the same health needs and shouldn't be treated similarly.

There also may be people who live in areas with access to food but still live in "functional food deserts" if they can't afford to buy groceries.

Jvion's approach is to turn socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral data into real clinical value that drives higher engagement, more tailored interventions and greater alignment between need and risk, resulting in better outcomes for individuals and the community as a whole, according to the company.

"We tried to build up a solution that is not top-down, but bottom-up and at the patient level. For that individual patient, what are the risk factors and markers that are more important and relevant to prevent avoidable harm?" Nigam said

Providers and healthcare executives recognize the growing role of socioeconomic insights in healthcare, especially in meeting the needs of underserved populations. To date, capturing those data and turning the information into meaningful and actionable intelligence has proved elusive for many, he said.

Between 2017 and 2019, U.S. health systems spent at least $2.5 billion on SDOH programs, the bulk of which focused on housing insecurity ($1.6 billion) and employment ($1.1 billion), according to a study in Health Affairs. The remainder was spread across areas including education, food security, social and community context and transportation.

The American Hospital Association pegs the number higher, reporting that hospitals spent $95 billion on community benefits in the most recent year data are available.

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At the same time, federal and state regulators increasingly are seeking clarity on what benefits are being provided to communities with this spend and their impact.

Jvion’s SDOH solution helps informs providers where to allocate their community benefit spend to have the greatest level of impact, according to the company.

Jvion joins a growing list of companies attempting to use technology like AI and analytics to identify and address the socioeconomic barriers to health.

New York City-based Unite Us launched in 2013 with a software platform to help connect people to social services.

Solera Health developed a platform to address chronic conditions and SDOH and has scored significant backing from investors like HCSC Ventures, the wholly owned investment firm of Blues parent Health Care Service Corp.

Other companies in the space include NowPow, which works with NYC Health + Hospitals, among others, Papa, which offers “grandkids on-demand” and Alphabet-backed CityBlock Health, which has raised $85 million to date.

There's also Signify Health, a provider of technology-enabled in-home care and complex care management services. Signify launched an SDOH solution called Signify Community that ties social interventions to quality, satisfaction and financial outcomes.

New York City-based Healthify builds the infrastructure to SDOH initiatives at scale, bringing social services and healthcare operators into a network. Healthify's framework allows payers, providers and social service organizations to communicate with each other so they know people are actually getting access to the services they need.