An app for integrating social determinants of health into patient care

David Haynes holding up a tablet showing the Smart Community Health app

The social determinants of health — the conditions in which a person lives, learns, works, and plays — account for 80 percent of health outcomes, but they’re almost never used in medical care. 

“So much affects health outcomes beyond what happens at a medical facility, such as education, access to transportation, financial stability, and more,” says David Haynes, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Health Informatics. “Socioeconomic and environmental information is crucial, but it’s not currently captured in patients’ health records.”

Dr. Haynes is dedicated to changing that. The health geographer is creating a mobile app that better connects patients to social services near them, while integrating key information about a patient’s social determinants of health into their electronic health record.

Called Smart Community Health, the app revolutionizes the way doctors, patients, and community organizations interact, and was developed with support from CTSI’s Pre-K Discovery Scholars Program and Office of Discovery and Translation grant.

CTSA Program In Action Goals
Goal 1: Train and Cultivate the Translational Science Workforce
Goal 3: Promote the Integration of Special and Underserved Populations in Translational Research Across the Human Lifespan
Goal 5: Advance the Use of Cutting-Edge Informatics