Why Socially Determined Wants to Further Involve Home-Based
The core of Socially Determined’s mission is figuring out what influences the decisions people make about their health care.
Trenor Williams, the company’s CEO, has a family medicine background whose mother ran Meals on Wheels in the Agency on Aging department in southwestern Virginia.
“This is all near and dear to my heart,” Williams said, the CEO of Socially Determined, to Home Health Care News.
Socially Determined is a health care analytics company and was founded in January 2017. Its goal is creating visibility and actionable intelligence around all factors that are at play when health care choices are made.
“We lacked so much information around what influences the decisions that people make about their health and their health care,” Williams said. “What we’ve historically done is use the information that we gather when people come to our office or to the hospital for the disease they might have and we do labs, X-Rays, things like that. But frankly, it is a really small subset of information.”
In order to make information more well-rounded, Socially Determined created an analytics platform where it uses data from a host of public sources that it then curates — and sometimes purchases — in order to quantify and characterize risk around specific social domains.
Those characteristics include food insecurity, housing instability, transportation barriers, financial strain and many others.
Socially Determined leverages its platform to work with insurance companies, health systems and employers. It combines its datasets, then, with patient data, to get as accurate of a description of what kind of care a patient needs, when they need it and how they should receive it.
“Each of these factors require thoughtful action,” Williams said. “We can start to — with precision — identify the who, where and what challenges people have. And then help those health care stakeholders act on that information so they can mitigate that risk, so people can get better.”
Williams sees an opportunity in the home-based care space when it comes to how stakeholders think about providing care in the home.
“I see an opportunity for companies in the home care space to start to think about participating in this journey together and becoming information gatherers,” Williams said. “I don’t think we have, in this country, leveraged the home care and home health industry, their teams and team members, as part of the [intervention process] the best way that we possibly could.
Late last month, Socially Determined raised $26 million in Series B funding, led by Questa Capital. To date, the company has raised over $33 million in funding.
In terms of provider partners, its relationships range from those with around 30,000 patients to 3 million patients. Having one platform that is able to evolve with each new partnership helps the company continue to scale up, Williams said.
“In the span of hours and days, we can create full social risk profiles and models for literally millions of people,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time, energy and resources in creating a model around thoughtful data ingestion. We’ve got a really thoughtful product and engineering team. We have a dedicated data science team and have invested in real resources and technologies that allow us to handle millions of data points at a time.”
With the new funding, William said Socially Determined plans to invest further in its staff.
“Legitimately, in every single division across our company,” he said. “It’s about the people that we bring in, because we’re only going to be as good as the team that we build.”
One of the biggest challenges facing Socially Determined and its growing staff is convincing health care systems and providers to look at these datasets and technologies not as a secondary source, but as a main contributor to the work they already do.
“The biggest challenge really is helping organizations figure out where to start,” he said. “Instead of thinking of social determinants and social risk as a side hustle, we believe we’ve demonstrated — with our existing customer base — that this information should be integrated across an organization into almost everything that they do.”
It’s a big ask, Williams said, but it’s one that is worth it in the long run.