Sept. 1, 2020

Virtual care needs to be designed for equitable usage and accessibility

"Although technology and disruptive innovation theoretically diminish systemic barriers and geographic isolation, in practice, they frequently widen chasms in access for vulnerable populations. The reality is telemedicine disproportionately caters to...


"Although technology and disruptive innovation theoretically diminish systemic barriers and geographic isolation, in practice, they frequently widen chasms in access for vulnerable populations. The reality is telemedicine disproportionately caters to younger, wealthier, and more educated patients.

Hospital systems need to ensure every patient has access to remote health care services, whether through offering landline phone visits, examining pitfalls in digital skill requirements, providing devices and/or application tutorials, or simply assessing if patients are capable of sending or replying to an email. Telehealth applications need to be designed for equitable usage and accessibility instead of automatically expecting rural, poor, minority, and elderly people to just 'get with the digital program' during a crisis."

Shantel Hebert-Magee is a pathologist.

She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "During COVID-19, not everyone can get with the digital program." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/05/during-covid-19-not-everyone-can-get-with-the-digital-program.html)