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Tag: Health Equity

Stop the Divide: Facilitators and Barriers to Uptake of Digital Health Interventions Among Socially Disadvantaged Populations

Price-Haywood EG, Arnold C, Harden-Barrios J, Davis T. Stop the Divide: Facilitators and Barriers to Uptake of Digital Health Interventions Among Socially Disadvantaged Populations. Ochsner J. Spring 2023;23(1):34-42. doi:10.31486/toj.22.0101

This qualitative study provided facilitators and barriers to implementing a new electronic patient portal (MyChart) in predominantly Black/African American and/or Medicaid-/Medicare-insured populations. MyChart is a portal accessible by mobile phone or computer with internet service. The program launched in Louisiana in 2020 and includes a digital medicine program that provides access to health coaches, clinical pharmacists, data from remote monitoring equipment, and appointment scheduling tools. For this study, 40 patients and 30 providers were surveyed about their experiences using the digital medicine platform. Participants described their access experience, attitudes, satisfaction, and challenges using health technology. Most patients were middle-aged, female, Black/African Americans who lived in urban areas and were insured by Medicaid. Most providers were young White male physicians who served predominantly Medicare/Medicaid-insured populations. Patients liked the consolidation of their health information, ease of appointment scheduling, medication refill requests, and medical advice messaging. As the mobile phone was the preferred access method, it is notable that most patients accessed these things successfully from their phones. Practitioners felt the largest barrier to implementation was the requirement to respond to too many messages, producing workload inefficiencies. While patients liked not traveling to clinics for visits, telemedicine visits were difficult on mobile phones. A lack of high-speed broadband access prevented some patients from engaging in telemedicine visits. Practitioners had concerns about video quality, safety when visits occurred in public spaces, like a car or workplace, and workflow issues around wait times. Most participants had positive views of using technology to help manage health. It remains critical to provide resources, like high-speed broadband access and digital navigators to push the digital health field forward in a sustainable way for patients and providers.


How to Ensure Health Equity Isn’t Just a Buzzword

Article Excerpt: Some healthcare organizations have reduced health equity to a buzzword, using the phrase superficially without a true commitment to dismantling systemic barriers. During a webinar, two industry leaders — AMA President Jesse Ehrenfeld and Emory Healthcare Chief Transformation Officer Amaka Eneanya — discussed why this approach must be avoided and explored how leaders can do better.

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Article Source: MedCityNews

Posted in: Epidemiology, News // Tagged: ;

Connected Healthcare Strategies to Boost Rural Access, Digital Equity

Article Excerpt: In the post-public health emergency (PHE) landscape, healthcare provider organizations are increasingly focused on incorporating and expanding hybrid, omnichannel, and connected models of care. These models leverage digital tools to enhance patient access and experience through capabilities like online scheduling, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring. However, organizations must ensure that medically underserved populations are not left behind, and health equity remains top-of-mind as connected healthcare efforts proliferate nationwide. At Xtelligent Healthcare Media’s 4th Annual Connected Health Virtual Summit in October, leaders from prominent health systems discussed these themes, delving into the opportunities and challenges of leveraging connected care efforts in underserved areas, as well as the importance of digital health equity and strategies for closing digital health gaps.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


FDA Forms New Digital Health Advisory Committee to Cover Growing Role of Tech

Article Excerpt: From time to time, the FDA convenes an outside group of experts to weigh in on an experimental drug or medical device, or to offer insight on a scientific matter that raises questions. The FDA has 49 committees and panels oriented around various therapeutic areas and modalities. As regulatory submissions increasingly include digital components, the agency wants to ensure it is adequately informed about these technologies. It’s adding a digital health advisory committee charged with providing that perspective.

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Article Source: MedCityNews


Symposium Focuses on Digital Tech for Mental Health

Article Excerpt: Technology offers new avenues for mental health delivery. Digital record keeping, virtual consultations, wearables that monitor activity and well-being, mindfulness apps, and AI-based chatbots are just a few examples. But these advances have not been leveraged effectively enough, Cornell Tech Professor and HealthRhythms Co-Founder Tanzeem Choudhury said in a keynote talk Tuesday at the Digital Mental Health and AI Symposium organized by the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health. Choudhury explored the challenges that have forestalled digital mental health from delivering on some of its early promises and how to move the needle forward.

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Article Source: Dartmouth News


Technology Helps Bring Health Equity to Underserved Communities

Article Excerpt: Health equity, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. It requires concentrated efforts to eliminate health and healthcare disparities and, more than ever, technology has become a major tool in the process. “From my perspective, technology has a huge value to provide health equity,” says Albert Blankley, COO of Common Ground Health, a health research and planning organization for the nine county Finger Lakes region founded in 1974. The organization’s mission is to bring greater focus to community health issues via data analysis, resident engagement and solution implementation, via regional collaboration and partnerships.

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Article Source: Rochester Business Journal


One-Third of ACOs Use Digital Health Tools to Treat Patients With OUD

Article Excerpt: A new study of accountable care organizations (ACOs) suggests the use of digital health tools is relatively uncommon when treating patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). When digital tools are used, they are generally seen as a complement to other treatment modalities, according to the report, which was published this month in JAMA Network Open. Digital health resources have been billed as a way to overcome some of the traditional barriers to OUD treatment, such as lack of transportation and the limited availability of trained mental health clinicians. However, the study authors said public health officials need to be mindful of equity concerns as they roll out digital health solutions, “including understanding the clinical settings in which they are offered.”

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Article Source: AJMC


Women’s Telehealth Program Diminishes Stigma via Technology

Article Excerpt: The Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center in Charleston has a unique telemedicine program in place to help pregnant and postpartum women. The program is called Listening to Women and Pregnant and Postpartum People, or LTWP. The technology vendors are REDCap and Twillio. It’s a mid-maturity program that is responding to behavioral health needs of pregnant women, and has recently expanded to newborn virtual home visitation for all mothers with births in the hospital.

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Article Source: Healthcare IT News


Telehealth Is Here to Stay: How Technology Has Become a Staple for Physicians and Is Serving Unmet Health Care Needs

Article Excerpt: While the pandemic was the impetus for greater utilization of telehealth across the health care continuum, it’s safe to say that due to the convenience and benefits it offers to patients and providers, telehealth is here to stay. Before COVID-19, telehealth visits only accounted for 4% of total appointments, according to our recent research, which evaluated telehealth usage across 93.7 million patients in our athenaOne network. In the first half of 2022 when many patients returned to receiving in-person care, virtual visits still accounted for 8.9% of total appointments – a relatively minor decrease from the 12.1% we saw at the pandemic’s height. In addition to large-scale utilization, it is also evident that telehealth is being leveraged for a wide range of use cases. The network research, in addition to a survey we commissioned through Dynata of 2,000 U.S. patients, both found interesting patterns in usage for behavioral health, chronic care, as well as differences in adoption across race and gender. Despite differences in adoption and utilization, one thing is clear: Telehealth will remain a pivotal component of health care delivery now and in the years to come.

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Article Source: Medical Economics