Preparing for the Future of Population Health 4.0

Preparing for the Future of Population Health 4.0

Public Health 1.0 identifies the initiation and growth in both knowledge and tools for medicine and public health. Public Health 2.0 characterizes the development of our traditional public health systems within both local and the federal government. Public Health 3.0 encapsulates the involvement of multiple sectors including other governmental agencies, community-based organizations, and the private sector. It also defines the focus of the social determinants of health.

Public Health 4.0, or rather Population Health 4.0, is the recognition of health as a global entity and the focus on identifying and eliminating health disparities. The focus is on population health management. While Public Health 3.0 required the development of health information technology (HIT) infrastructure and understanding, 4.0 requires an even greater partnership with technology allowing for enhanced care management outside of brick & mortar structures delivering healthcare to the most vulnerable where they are.

This movement is being echoed across the healthcare landscape as the FDA begins to leverage Industry 4.0, a focus to help strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure with an emphasis on CMS interoperability.

The COVID-19 pandemic epitomized the key issues of Population Health 4.0 as both exposure risk and serious infection/death tracked with race and socioeconomic status. The presence of certain chronic diseases (e.g., type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, congestive heart failure, etc.) illustrated pervasive health disparities. High rates of severe infection among Blacks (particularly in the U.S.) correspond to the high rates of these chronic diseases among minorities. High rates of infection were seen within overcrowded living conditions and among low paying “essential workers” in food service, etc. And social isolation had a substantially greater impact on individuals with less resilience financially, socially and physically.

What should be on your new Population Health Solution checklist?

  • Identify patients with new or worsened chronic conditions, including later stage cancers, which progressed as a result of deferred on-going management or preventive care in an effort to reduce exposure among vulnerable or high-risk persons.
  • Ensure equity in healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes in testing, vaccine delivery, surveillance, prevention, and treatment throughout the healthcare landscape.
  • Enhance surveillance following vaccine delivery particularly regarding new more virulent virus strains.
  • Integrate value-based care into healthcare systems to help providers and healthcare systems withstand the financial strains of a pandemic
  • Invest in public health and healthcare infrastructure, specifically regarding health information technology (HIT).

Learn more about HealthEC’s Population Health Management Platform and how we can check all of the right boxes for your organization and the evolution of Population Health 4.0.