It is estimated that just 20% of health outcomes are linked to the medical care that an individual receives — the remaining 80% are estimated to stem from non-medical, societal factors like economic stability, education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context.1,2
Propeller Health and ResMed presented several abstracts at the 2023 European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress, many of which provided insights into how socioeconomic factors can impact outcomes in respiratory care. Read brief summaries of the abstracts below.
Education and income may be important predictors for digital health adoption in asthma
Summary: Sociodemographic factors may be key predictors of remote care adoption and utilization. To investigate this, researchers assessed the influence of education and income levels on the adoption of digital health platforms for asthma management during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study surveyed U.S. adults utilizing Propeller’s digital therapeutic platform, assessing their comfort with sharing health data and concerns about remote care. The study found that:
- Lower income (less than $50,000 household annual income) and education (high school diploma or lower) levels were associated with more technological and financial concerns about remote care
- Health data sharing was mixed — individuals with lower incomes were more likely to share health data, while those with lower education levels were less likely to share
- Individuals with uncontrolled asthma were 80% more likely to share health data
- Males were less likely to share their health data than females
The findings suggest complex relationships between sociodemographic factors and digital health adoption, underscoring the need for further investigation and understanding of how such tools are adopted across the sociodemographic spectrum.
Spatially resolved air pollution models identify disparities in exposure by socioeconomic status (SES)
Summary: Air pollution is a significant public health concern that can disproportionately affect lower socioeconomic communities. As such, high-resolution air pollution models were used to investigate disparities in exposure to air pollution (specifically nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3) in California based on socioeconomic status (SES). The study revealed that, despite improvements in air quality from 2012 to 2019, low SES areas exhibited higher exposure to pollutants, with positive associations between SABA usage and all three pollutants. The findings emphasize ongoing air pollution disparities and highlight the potential of high-resolution data for advancing epidemiological research.
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1 Magnan, S. (2021). Social Determinants of Health 101 for health care: Five plus five. National Academy of Medicine.
2 Social Determinants of Health. Social Determinants of Health – Healthy People 2030.