Sharecare and Boston University School of Public Health launch Community Well-Being Index, significantly expand and evolve 10 years of measurement and analysis
Next-generation Community Well-Being Index state rankings place Hawaii in top spot while Mississippi comes in 50th
News Release from ShareCare, Aug 31, 2020
ATLANTA and BOSTON – August 31, 2020 – Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place through its comprehensive and data-driven virtual heath platform, and the Boston University School of Public Health (SPH), one of the nation’s leading academic institutions, today released their next-generation Community Well-Being Index (CWBI) state rankings report, evolving 10 years of well-being measurement via the integration of key social determinants of health data. Collectively, the multi-dimensional layering and analysis Sharecare formulated for the CWBI in collaboration with SPH and its Biostatistics and Epidemiology Data Analytics Center (BEDAC) has resulted in the most expansive, diversified, and dynamic well-being index in the industry.
“Through CWBI, we have developed a unique and deeper understanding of America’s most pressing health challenges at a hyperlocal level and further contextualized the critical impact that environment has on one’s access to health resources, readiness to change and overall health risk,” said Jeff Arnold, founder and CEO of Sharecare. “While this first report is focused more specifically on 2019 state rankings, over the last six months, in particular, we have also examined the well-being impact that critical external forces – such as COVID-19 and racism – are having on our country. By tapping into the power of our action-oriented data and collaborative partnerships to deliver personalized interventions through the Sharecare platform, we can make virtual health a reality, empowering each American to improve their well-being and ultimately inspiring a collective movement to heal our country.”
Since 2008, Sharecare has measured well-being through its innovative Well-Being Index (WBI) – for which over 3 million surveys have been completed to date – by analyzing both physical and non-physical individual risk factors across the following five health domains:
Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life
Financial: Managing your economic life to increase financial security and reduce stress
Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily
In an effort to significantly expand on the datasets and metrics that most health indices track, the CWBI combines Sharecare’s original index with a new Social Determinants of Health Index (SDOHi), which measures additional risk factors across five interrelated domains pertaining to one’s environment:
Healthcare access: Concentration of MDs, OBGYNs, and pediatric specialists per 1,000 residents
Food access: Presence of grocery stores within one mile of underserved populations, including Black individuals, children, and seniors
Resource access: Quantity of libraries and religious institutions per 10,000 residents, employment rates for people over 65, and presence of grocery stores within 20 miles
Housing & transportation: Home values, ratio of home value to income, and public transit use
Economic security: Rates of employment, labor force participation, individuals with health insurance coverage, and household income above poverty level
Further, in order to collect a larger, more robust well-being sample versus previous years’ rankings, Sharecare and BEDAC employed a multi-modal approach, including opt-in data from RealAge, Sharecare’s digital health risk assessment that captures well-being within the five health domains tracked by WBI, and further expands insights to include additional health behaviors, reported co-morbidities, and mortality risk. Accordingly, CWBI achieved county-level coverage for the first time since Sharecare began benchmarking the nation’s health 10 years ago, enabling visibility into well-being and social determinant risk for communities not previously included in state rankings, and ensuring comprehensive coverage for rural and underserved areas.
“By leveraging sophisticated statistical techniques across small area estimation, multiple imputation, and machine learning, and integrating social determinants of health into our core measure, the CWBI has established a critical baseline that provides a holistic understanding of where we were from a well-being perspective pre-pandemic, while enabling year-to-date and ongoing views of the impact that systemic inequities and COVID-19 are having on our nation’s well-being,” said Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health. “Further, CWBI will optimize Sharecare’s delivery of data-driven interventions to communities and individuals alike, helping each person chart an evidence-based, location-centric health journey that, ultimately, will empower Americans to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
For the combined 2019 CWBI state rankings, Hawaii, a consistently top ranked state in well-being for prior years, continued to demonstrate its status as an elite state in health and well-being, taking the top spot. The Aloha State scored in the top quintile across five of 10 domain rankings: social, financial, community, healthcare access, and housing & transportation. Meanwhile, Mississippi took last place on the CWBI based on bottom positions in three of 10 domains (financial, physical, and food access) and ranking in the bottom quintile in five additional domains (social, community, healthcare access, housing & transportation, and economic security). Further, each of the bottom five states continue the pattern of those with the worst well-being being concentrated in the South.
Community Well-Being Index: 2019 State Rankings
|42. New Mexico
|3. New Jersey
|4. New York
|9. New Hampshire
|49. West Virginia
“While our previous rankings revealed a great deal about individual resilience, with more communities being represented in our new CWBI data construct, we are seeing shifts in rankings due in part to broadly lower levels of well-being in rural communities,” said Elizabeth Colyer, lead for Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index. “Further, on average, well-being scores in rural counties were considerably less than their urban counterparts. We look forward to examining this trend in greater detail, especially in our upcoming rankings report for municipalities and counties that will be released in the fall.”
For more information and to access the complete Community Well-Being Index 2019 state rankings report, go to wellbeingindex.sharecare.com.