NJII aims to reduce health disparities in the Newark community by targeting underserved areas with limited access to fragmented health care services.
The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) created the Pop Up Health concept as a solution to building healthier communities. The concept was established and is operating in Newark, New Jersey, one of the state’s most urban areas with high percentages of racial/ethnic minorities, foreign-born, impoverished, and uninsured residents. These factors contribute to increased presence and severity of certain diseases, poorer health outcomes, and greater difficulty in accessing healthcare services.
The current goals of the NJII Pop Up Health Clinics include: addressing some of Newark’s most pertinent health needs (women’s health, health screenings, dental health, and HIV testing and education); increasing access to health care screenings and services; providing health education and, addressing social determinants of health by referring participants to local health and social service organizations; transitioning participants to a primary care provider; increasing Medicaid enrollment; reducing distrust and fear of the healthcare system; reducing fears of the undocumented and cultural issues with stigma; improving health literacy; improving health education on how to navigate the healthcare system to get the right service at the right place; and obtaining, addressing, and utilizing participants’ individual social determinants of health data to improve access to health care and overall health outcomes.
During NJII Pop Up Health Clinics, volunteer clinicians provide general consultations, health and disease-related screenings, and linkages to ongoing care. Services focus on the interests and needs of the participants and community, particularly performing blood pressure, BMI, and glucose screenings. Other health care services may include HIV screenings, vision screenings, dental screenings, tobacco use screenings/cessation interventions, depression screenings/follow-up plans, cholesterol screenings, health education, and health insurance enrollment. Clinics are held during other scheduled community events such as local food pantries and local health and wellness festivals.
The MiQlave app, developed specifically for use at NJII’s Pop Up Health Clinics, is the technology that drives services. This consumer-facing app built on blockchain technology is designed to provide participants access to their health data, and in time, connect this data with the records in the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN). The app helps facilitate the Pop Up Health process/workflow. It also addresses a major healthcare data interoperability challenge by allowing participants to upload, maintain, and share their health information (e.g., BMI, glucose screening results, etc.) with any provider. The main objective of this highly-secure, breakthrough solution is to simplify the ability to share the participant’s health record so that a participant receiving care in the community (particularly through non-traditional care opportunities such as the NJII Pop Up Clinics) can easily store and share his/her health data with other health care providers. Unlike other personal health data sharing services, which include time-consuming and difficult processes for participants to create individual view permissions and to set the “share” criteria to each selected health care provider, the MiQlave app provides a unique solution for the participant to approve/deny the permission of the document(s) at the time of request through a secure messaging network. The participant does not have to set any preliminary permission rules.
At the Pop Up Health Clinics, participants can readily access their health data and assessment results through the MiQlave app. This information can be easily shared with other health care providers and multiple providers can subsequently load data into the MiQlave app. Eventually, NJII hopes to expand the scope of its Pop Up Health Clinic/MiQlave app project to establish an in-community clinic, manage care for community residents, educate providers on best practices, partner with providers for care coordination, and negotiate the use of treatment beds.