Project Background

At the end of 2021, City Tech Collaborative launched a new organization called Sustainable Wellness Innovation (SWI).  SWI is a collaboration platform that accelerates, innovates, and scales tech-enabled solutions to healthcare challenges.  It was created to measurably improve community health delivery and wellness outcomes in Chicago’s historically underserved communities.  SWI brings together skilled partners and engages residents, healthcare providers, and patients to ensure they have an active voice in solution creation.

One of those partners is OSF HealthCare.  During the pandemic, the health care system built an innovative data platform called OSF Community Connect, used to help health clinics, primary care providers, and others identify Medicaid members at risk of poor health outcomes and the resources they need to improve their health.  SWI identified the program as a blueprint.  An expansion of it could solve for a larger issue (only made clearer during the pandemic): health care inequity across the city of Chicago.  Particularly the lack of care to those in the historically underserved communities.

The pandemic has only exacerbated what we already know to be true: systematic disparities and biases create significant barriers to achieving health and wellness for all communities. These growing health disparities are even more evident in Chicago’s BIPOC communities on the South and West sides. With the development of Sustainable Wellness Innovation, I’m excited to deliver community-informed solutions that overcome these physical, digital, and socio-economic barriers to health so all communities can flourish., says Angela Barnes, Founder of Sustainable Wellness Innovation

Clarity’s Role

Clarity was engaged in January 2021 by OSF to oversee software development for the expansion of OSF Community Connect.  It launched in October of that year as healthcare-focused CRM tool that allows end users (social workers, nurses, etc.) to manage the patient’s journey.

Since then, Clarity redesigned the entire application to allow each end user to set up his or her own program within the platform, customize search views, and generate dashboards.  It also extends beyond COVID-19 to include more use cases, such as pre/post-natal care and various wellness initiatives.

The solution was born out of the pandemic as a way to support OSF community health workers (CHWs) who were digitally connecting with COVID-19 patients to assess their conditions, provide education and refer them to a provider when needed. We discovered it could also be a way to reach out and maintain relationships with under-resourced communities.-Roopa Foulger, OSF, Data Lab Director

Additional features are currently being developed by Clarity.

Closing the Gap

This effort highlights how removing technology barriers can result in more effective and equitable health outcomes.  Community-based health workers and volunteers are key links between patients and care providers. Too often, however, these care team members do not readily have access to patients’ electronic health records, and therefore critical information can be missing from care planning, coordination, and management. Tools such as OSF Community Connect utilize social determinants of health as a critical component to create better patient care plans, track patient outcomes, and achieve measurable improvements in the health outcomes of communities.

About Sustainable Wellness Innovation

Sustainable Wellness Innovation is a non-profit, collaboration platform that accelerates, innovates, and scales tech-enabled solutions. Our mission is to increase health equity and measurably improve community health delivery and wellness outcomes in Chicago’s most underserved communities through collaboratively developing solutions; engaging residents and patients to ensure they have an active voice in solution creation; and leveraging a robust racial equity and inclusion (REI) methodology to address inherent bias in existing solution development processes.

About City Tech Collaborative (City Tech)

City Tech is an urban solutions accelerator that tackles problems too big for any single sector or organization to solve alone. City Tech’s work uses IoT sensing networks, advanced analytics, and urban design to create scalable, market ready solutions. Current initiatives address mobility, healthy cities, connected infrastructure, and emerging growth opportunities. City Tech was born and raised in Chicago, and every city is a potential partner.


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