ATLANTA/BOSTON (July 15, 2019) – The Boston University School of Public Health (SPH), one of the nation’s leading academic institutions, and Sharecare, the digital health company helping people manage all their health in one place, today announced a strategic partnership to build the most comprehensive and dynamic measure of well-being across the United States.
The Community Well-Being Index (CWI) from SPH and Sharecare will contextualize the critical impact that environment has on one’s access to health resources, readiness to change and overall health risk. Significantly expanding on the datasets and metrics that most health indices track, the CWI will examine genetics, lifestyle choices and social factors, as well as social determinants of health (SDOH), and real-time and near-time datasets, such as traffic, weather, walkability, food insecurity and crime.
Sharecare has been measuring well-being by analyzing both physical and non-physical factors of health across purpose, social, financial, community and physical domains for the last 10 years, during which it collected surveys from more than 2.5 million Americans. For the new CWI, the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Data Analytics Center (BEDAC) – a cutting edge data science unit within BU SPH that works closely with academic and industry partners to realize synergies between both sectors – will supplement that data with more than sixty additional SDOH variables across five core constructs, including built environment; health and healthcare; social and community context; education; and economic stability.
“By collaborating with Sharecare on the Community Well-Being Index, we are bringing together state-of-the-science thinking about how health is produced with an innovative digital platform that can help advance health across the life course of individuals, communities and large populations,” said Dr. Sandro Galea, Dean of Boston University’s School of Public Health. “This stands to become a unique practical application of population health science principles that transforms the health not only of Americans and their communities but also of global populations.”
Additionally, Sharecare will contribute de-identified self-reported data it has amassed through its RealAge health risk assessment, which has been taken by more than 45 million people; as well as permission-based frictionless health tracker data – such as sleep, steps and stress – from Sharecare app users who opt-in. Sharecare also is actively working with partners that will contribute other relevant de-identified data sources in national scale – such as real-time grocery transactions, biometrics and lab results, and prescription medication fulfillment. Collectively, the multi-dimensional layering and analysis SPH and Sharecare are formulating for the CWI will result in the most expansive, diversified and dynamic well-being index in the industry.
“We are committed to delivering on a higher ledge of community-driven care, and the work we are doing with Boston University takes the concept of meeting users where they are in their health journey to a whole new level,” said Jeff Arnold, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. “Further, Sharecare’s scale, combined with the analytic capabilities of the BEDAC team, will allow us to more deeply understand the most pressing health challenges across America at a hyperlocal level. Simply put, the CWI will advance our ability to deliver the right interventions to people at the right time which not only will improve their personal health but also the places where they work, live and play.”
Arnold added, “This type of ubiquitous location-centric design and data are at the nexus of healthcare’s next evolution, empowering individuals and communities to better understand and navigate their well-being journeys in ways that have previously been out of reach.”
Sharecare’s enterprise clients also will be granted access to data visualization capabilities powered by the CWI to better analyze and implement health and well-being strategies for their populations. In addition, best-in-class academic collaborators will be invited to access a centralized researcher data repository to advance the science of population health and creating the most expansive and diversified data science team in the industry. These healthcare practitioners, public health officials, academic institutions and community leaders will have the ability to access CWI data through a real-time digital interface and data dashboard that will overlay and incorporate geospatial social determinant data; self-reported well-being and lifestyle factors; and localized social determinant data such as food insecurity, community walkability, access to care, and environmental and behavioral risk factors.
Dean Galea added, “Our partnership presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between the private sector and academia that can generate novel science as well as create opportunities for the application of that science in a practical real-world setting. We envision the CWI data repository becoming an actionable toolkit for public health researchers across the country.”
Together, SPH and Sharecare will report on the country’s health and well-being by providing public access to annual CWI state and community rankings reports, which also will serve to propel Sharecare’s Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being initiative that leverages the lessons learned from the world’s longest lived populations to make healthy choices easier. Today, the Blue Zones Project is active in 48 communities across 11 states, and has sustainably impacted the well-being of more than 3 million Americans, resulting in increased productivity and reduced healthcare costs. The CWI will provide current and future Blue Zones Project communities with not only a robust benchmarking tool but also unparalleled insights into the distribution of health and well-being across a community, allowing them to target resources and interventions where they are needed most.
About the Boston University School of Public Health
Founded in 1976, the Boston University School of Public Health is one of the top five ranked private schools of public health in the world. It offers master’s- and doctoral-level education in public health. The faculty in six departments conduct policy-changing public health research around the world, with the mission of improving the health of populations–especially the disadvantaged, underserved, and vulnerable—locally and globally.
Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive lives. In addition to providing individual consumers with direct access to award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare also helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.