WTW launches new tool to examine social health and climate threats

Broker WTW has expanded its Health & Benefits Scout tool, with two new models focused on the social determinants of health and climate risks.

The Scout Social determinants of health (SDoH) model identifies the economic, social and clinical resources that families have and need, uniquely based on where they live in the US. The Scout Climate tool highlights SDoH vulnerabilities enhanced by a changed climate geographically across the entire US. “Together, these models can assess the impacts climate will have on employee health,” WTW explained.

These expanded Scout models leverage data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to present clinical prevalence (e.g., cancer, diabetes) and non-clinical (e.g., food access, transportation) resource accessibility.

“The impact of heat stress, drought and flood are just some of the challenges facing employees today,” said Drew Hodgson, national health care delivery leader, WTW. “The Scout tool can help employers identify the HR and benefits strategies needed to address these issues, for both their physical and mental wellbeing.”

WTW explained Scout Climate is powered by Climate Quantified, WTW’s analytical engine of a best-in-class data, rich expertise and robust methods for measuring climate-related risks and enhancing climate resilience.

“Scout Climate can focus on regions where agricultural and construction workforces experience a high number of days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature at which the body begins to show impacts of heat stress,” WTW added. “For example, workers in California’s Central Valley can experience these conditions between 75-90 days per year. Climate models estimate such conditions to increase to over 100 days by 2050. Provided all other conditions stay the same, this has the potential to impact heath and productivity in significant ways. “

While Scout is US-based at present, there are collaborations underway with WTW’s Climate and Resilience Hub globally to progress WTW’s focus connecting people strategies with scientific climate risk quantification.

WTW added: “Scout is market-differentiating in its use of Healthcare Bluebook cost and Quantros facility quality metrics across the US. WTW’s own Climate Quantified engine produces projected high-resolution consistent climate risk data through 2080 as a unique additional lens to healthcare strategy.”

“The launch of these Scout models is another step towards helping clients manage climate risks and move towards a more resilient workforce and business,” added Dr Nidia Martínez director climate risk analytics, Climate and Resilience Hub, WTW. “Combining our deep analytical capabilities on climate with our Health and Benefits expertise allows us to use a holistic approach in addressing the evolving need of business and social response to climate emergency.”