March 11, 2024
Inequities and SDOH | Tea Leaves
  • A new study finds that generative AI models can identify social determinants of health (SDOH) in doctors’ notes. SDOH are major drivers of health outcomes, but these factors are notoriously under-documented in existing EHR structured data. While a subset of billing codes exists to capture SDOH data for quality improvement and health equity efforts, they are sorely underutilized. To tackle the issue, a team at Mass General Brigham fine-tuned language models to spot rare references to SDOH in visit notes of cancer patients getting radiotherapy. (Articles here and here)
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a lack of reliable transportation could have adverse health outcomes, especially among older adults who are uninsured and have lower incomes. The percentage of those lacking reliable transportation decreases with age. About 7 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 don’t have reliable transportation, whereas 4.5 percent of adults who are 65 and older said the same. When it comes to other demographics such as race, American Indian and Alaska Native adults were more likely to lack reliable transportation. The CDC found Black individuals were more likely than white and Hispanic adults to lack reliable transportation. (Article here)