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Over the last 18 months, the importance of Internet access has never been clearer. Now a DC analysis company has a way to measure connectivity.
Socially determined launched a new tool for organizations looking to assess digital equality in their communities.
That Digital Landscape metric, which was just announced today, measures the presence of technological components that enable people in a community to participate fully in society, and specifically the impact this may have on healthcare and business performance. The new metric is part of Social Determined’s SocialScape analysis platform, which also measures economy, food availability and housing.
Alan Lattimer, vice president of computer science at Wharf-based Socially Determined, said that while Digital Landscape is more of a measurement tool, it can help create better communities.
“It really gives these organizations the opportunity to step in and start helping the communities, which we have found time and time again is really the driving force behind what they are trying to do,” Lattimer told Technical.ly.
In addition to measuring the availability of broadband in a geographic area, Lattimer said Digital Landscape is also considering things like device ownership and proximity to public Wi-Fi locations. To assess affordability, it also looks at the cost of internet access compared to the household budgets of those in the area. In addition, it looks at the community’s digital skills to see how comfortable members are with technology and whether it has been fully exploited.
The overall goal, Lattimer said, is to help organizations better understand the digital shortcomings of the communities in which they work. In return, this can better serve communities, he said, especially given the far-reaching reach of technology.
“[Digital equity] affects a lot of things in immediacy. It affects the ability to access telecommunications and access telecommunications. And when we look into the middle of a pandemic, it is an important mechanism for us to provide routine health care, ”Lattimer said, adding that it can also affect the ability to work or have a conversation externally, as well as education .
Founded in 2017 by Trenor Williams, Social Determined provides analyzes to organizations that address the social determinants of health, such as World Health Organization defines as the non-medical factors that affect health outcomes.
Socially Determined’s customers, which Lattimer said include non-profit organizations, life sciences companies and healthcare providers, are all thinking more and more about access to digital resources after the pandemic.
He expects the new tool to be particularly useful in the payroll area, and it helps with the development of the right care at the right price for the people the companies serve.
Overall, he hopes it can help organizations rethink digital policies and focus more on bridging existing gaps when developing social impact solutions.
“It’s just such a great opportunity to continue to help people understand what the challenges are out there and then how to creatively start solving those problems,” Lattimer said.