Technology Gap is Increasing Health Disparities

Many providers, the media and healthcare industry websites are praising the use of virtual health programs. The heartwarming stories like a grandmother going online to join a virtual diabetes program that allowed her to download an App that gave her 24/7 access to health coaches and doctors via video visits and take a more active role in her health are great to hear. This is definitely a new approach that gives individuals more control of their health without leaving home. Too bad that many individuals that could most benefit from programs like this, do not have access to the technology to take advantage of these new opportunities for patient-centered medicine. Compounding this is that most government policymakers, entrepreneurs, and healthcare device manufacturers seem to believe that everyone has access to and the financial where with all to use online collaboration resources and Telehealth. Sorry but there are individuals who do not have access to the latest laptops, mobile devices and high-speed internet to be able to use many recent healthcare delivery advances. They are in urban and rural areas, and in most of our communities. As a result, health disparities continue. Let’s address this technology gap now so all of us can benefit.