Health Equity Tracker: A New Way to Track Health Disparities

By Joshua Beltran, Research Assistant, Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research

A recent article from STAT, reported on a new tool to help track health disparities. The tool, named the Health Equity Tracker is described as “a portal that collects, analyzes, and makes visible data on some of the inequities entrenched in U.S. medicine.” The severity of health disparities has sometimes been called into question due to not being seen in data. By the nature of science, data has a tendency to be the defining factor on what actions be taken and what conclusions can be drawn. This is even the case in public health. Without consistent data to rely on and point to when trying display that health disparities exist and their severity, the call to action is either slow or ignored entirely. However, the Health Equity Tracker can make an impact on this, “by making data that do exist on racial health disparities accessible, the tracker aims to empower local advocates to drive change in their communities — and inspire action to fill in holes in data that are themselves reinforced by structural racism.” While this tracker does fill in some of the gaps in data, it does have gaps of its own and should not be seen as the one answer to solve all health disparity problems. I think it best to look at it as an evolving solution to one major aspect of providing information on health disparities and their causes. I highly encourage anyone reading this entry to read the full article and check out the tracker.