Health inequalities are largely driven by socio-economic factors, and thus determined outside of healthcare.
As illustrated by Dahlgreen and Whitehead's social determinants of health rainbow:
It is therefore imperative for all sectors to work together in order to improve the health outcomes of a population.
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is the strategy, promoted by WHO, to include health considerations in policy making across different sectors that influence health. These include transportation, agriculture, land use, housing, public safety and education.
As a concept, HiAP reflects the principles of: legitimacy, accountability, transparency and access to information, participation, sustainability, and collaboration across sectors and levels of government.
WHO recognise that data sharing needs to be at the core, by developing cross-cutting information and evaluation systems.
Agent-based models to support data sharing
Agent-based models are a useful tool for simulating the digital health information flows within and between sectors that influence health. If standards-based, simulations could be developed as common monitoring and evaluation tools, providing policy-makers, across all sectors, with:
- The ability to request health data in a clear, simple and unambiguous way
- A consistent use of health data across all projects
- A standardised, scalable and reusable way of monitoring and evaluating the health impacts of each initiative
"If you can't simulate it, you can't deliver it" - Charlie McCay
By Allie Short