Quantifying the digital divide – Healthcare Economist

Telemedicine and video-conferencing are serving to to bridge the hole in entry to care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These approaches, nonetheless, solely work if sufferers have entry to the expertise wanted to have interaction in telemedicine or videoconference visits.

A paper by Roberts and Mehrota (2020) makes use of information from the 2018 American Neighborhood Survey (ACS) and finds that:

General, 41.4% (95% CI, 40.4%-42.4%) of Medicare beneficiaries lacked entry to a desktop or laptop computer pc with a high-speed web connection at house, and 40.9% (95% CI, 40.0%-41.8%) lacked a smartphone with a wi-fi information plan…The proportion of beneficiaries with out both type of digital entry was 26.3% (95% CI, 25.5%-27.1%), and this proportion various throughout demographic and socioeconomic teams. 

In abstract, about 2 of 9 Medicare beneficiaries don’t have any digital entry, Three of 9 have partial entry (both laptop computer/desktop or smartphone) and Four out of 9 have full entry (each laptop computer/desktop and smartphone). Hopefully these numbers have improved during the last two years. However, the digital divide causes greater than financial challenges, however within the time of COVID-19 additionally causes challenges in accessing well being take care of the aged as properly.

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