Craig Kinyon, CEO of Reid Health, recently highlighted the issue of the digital divide and its impact on low-income households in both urban and rural areas. In today’s digital world, he stressed the importance of addressing the issue of digital inequities. Shockingly, approximately 19 percent of Americans do not own a smartphone, and 50 percent of households earning less than $30,000 per year have limited access to computers. Additionally, around 18 million households in the U.S. lack internet access.
To improve healthcare access for all, Kinyon proposed that it is crucial for healthcare organizations to recognize the influence of social determinants of health and health disparities. These factors play a significant role in hindering patients from accessing the care they need. Recognizing this, Kinyon emphasized the need for collaboration between healthcare leaders, community organizations, and policymakers to bridge the digital divide.
By working together harmoniously, innovative solutions can be created to effectively address these challenges. This could include initiatives such as providing affordable internet and computer access to low-income households, as well as implementing telehealth services to ensure virtual healthcare access for those without smartphones or reliable internet connections.
It is essential for healthcare organizations to proactively engage with community partners and policymakers to develop strategies that bridge the digital divide. By doing so, they can help ensure that no one is left behind in accessing vital healthcare services.
1. Digital divide: Refers to the gap between those who have access to digital technologies and those who do not, often based on factors such as income, education, and location.
2. Social determinants of health: These are the economic and social conditions that influence an individual’s health status and access to healthcare resources.
– Source: Craig Kinyon, CEO of Reid Health.